The Seattle Mariners are single-handedly depleting the corner infielder/outfielder market. Just minutes after the M's signed Corey Hart to a one-year deal Wednesday afternoon, they turned around and acquired Logan Morrison from the Marlins in exchange for righty reliever Carter Capps, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Morrison has been on the trading block for a while and with the Marlins signing first baseman Garrett Jones to a two-year deal earlier this week, LoMo became all the more expendable. The oft-injured slugger was primed to change hands at some point this month, so it's no surprise that he was grabbed by the busy bees in the Pacific Northwest.
The 26-year-old Morrison was at one point a top prospect in the game -- rated #18 by Baseball America in 2009 -- but chronic leg issues have damaged his stock and his production the last two years. Two knee surgeries have limited Morrison to just 178 games over the last two years and pushed him out of a corner outfield role to first base, which hurts his positional value.
The lefty slugger showed a lot of promise in his first two years with the Marlins, hitting .259/.351/.460 with 25 home runs in 812 plate appearances, but has completely lost his power stroke since tearing his patellar tendon in late 2011. In his limited two seasons of play since then, Morrison has hit just .236/.321/.387 with 17 home runs in 667 PAs.
If Morrison can get some of that power back, he has the potential to be a solid addition for the M's. He's under team control for another three years and is expected to earn just $2 million this winter, his first year of arbitration, so he's a fairly cheap get.
What the M's plan to do with Morrison and Hart in terms of positioning and playing time is anyone's guess at this point. Both players have balky knees and less than stellar defensive reputations, but they could potentially take on roles at first base, right field or designated hitter for the M's. The club also has a Morrison duplicate on the roster in Justin Smoak, who might now become expendable.
Capps, 23, is a power reliever who misses a lot of bats but ran into a whole bunch of trouble with the long ball during his second season in the Mariners' bullpen. He allowed 12 home runs in just 59 innings of work in 2013 -- 1.8 per nine -- resulting in a 5.49 ERA on the year. Part of the reason for his 2013 struggles could stem from the lost zip on his fastball; the 6 5' right-hander regularly hit triple digits on the radar gun in his first call-up in 2012, but saw his average velocity drop to just over 96 miles per hour this past season.
The Marlins will likely use Capps to restock a bullpen that's dealing with the losses of Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls to free agency. He's a pre-arbitration guy for another two years, so he potentially could be a bullpen fixture in Miami for the next five years.