Seattle finalizes Hart deal, trade for Morrison

If they are healthy, the Seattle Mariners believe they may have

lured Corey Hart at a bargain rate and given up little to get Logan

Morrison.

Health will be the biggest question for both. On Friday, after

the Mariners finalized their one-year deal with Hart and the trade

with Miami to acquire Morrison, they both said they were ready for

a full season after knee troubles in the past.

Seattle capped a hectic two days of activity after both players

passed physicals on Friday. Morrison was acquired for right-handed

reliever Carter Capps from the Marlins, while Hart signed an

incentive-laden $6 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to

$10.65 million if he’s healthy and has 650 plate appearances.

The moves came a day after Seattle’s big splash when it

completed the $240 million, 10-year deal with free agent second

baseman Robinson Cano.

”You look at the ball clubs and you want to go to a place

that’s kind of headed in the right direction and with them signing

(Cano) I saw the organization is definitely moving forward,” Hart

said.

Hart’s decision to come to Seattle was partly due to a

longstanding relationship with Mariners general manager Jack

Zduriencik, who was part of the Milwaukee front office that draft

Hart. That familiarity helped seal Hart’s decision, as did little

factors like spring training in Arizona and the opportunity to give

his body a rest but stay in the lineup being used as a designated

hitter.

The ability to get a break occasionally and still DH was

important for both players.

”It does give you some versatility. For both players now being

in the American League where we have the DH is going to help both

guys,” Zduriencik said. ”Between right field, first base,

designated hitter and a chance to get them off the field a little

bit and get a break is going to help both guys.

If Hart can stay healthy, getting the two-time All-Star for one

season on a relatively inexpensive deal could be a significant coup

for the Mariners, who have made adding offense a top priority this

offseason. It started with Cano’s deal continued by adding a needed

right-handed bat in Hart that can provide protection in the

lineup.

Hart did not play in 2013 because of a right knee surgery in

January 2013 after a meniscus tear and joint damage was discovered.

It was his second knee surgery in a year after having his right

knee operated on before the start of the 2012 season to repair

damaged cartilage.

His last season in 2012 was one of the best in his career. Hart

hit .270 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs with Milwaukee. Hart also had

35 doubles in 2012 and posted an on-base plus slugging percentage

of above .800 from 2010 through 2012.

Hart was cleared for full activity about two weeks ago, he said,

but had been working out at nearly full capacity for about six

weeks. He’s lost weight and feels he could play in the outfield

about five days a week without issue. Seattle sent scouts to watch

Hart’s workouts in Arizona before making the offer.

Morrison also fits Seattle’s need of having the versatility to

play a few different positions and be an option at first base. He

has not been able to match the power he showed during the 2011

season when he slugged 23 homers and had 72 RBIs for the Marlins,

slowed by injuries. He had right knee surgery in September 2012 and

missed the first two months of the 2013 season. He played 85 games

last season for Miami and nearly all of them at first base in the

field.

”We really haven’t seen a productive LoMo since the 2011

season. There’s still a ton of potential there with LoMo,” Marlins

president of baseball operations Mike Hill said.

Morrison said it’s been two seasons since he had a full spring

training and expects that’s where the position decisions will be

figured out. He also showed off a bit of his personality that has

drawn him more than 100,000 Twitter followers, joking about being

willing to play center field if needed and having to do workouts

rehabbing that were more for older people than a 26-year-old

baseball player.

”I’m so excited to be here now and getting a fresh lease on my

baseball life, it’s a pretty cool feeling,” Morrison said. ”I

wish the season started now.”

AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Steven Wine contributed to

this report.