Apparently Jack Zduriencik is tired of his team being synonymous with weak offense. Where once there was Franklin Guttierez and Brendan Ryan -- two of the slickest gloves in the game -- there is now Corey Hart and Logan Morrison (perhaps both playing in the outfield), and Jesus Montero (perhaps playing at catcher).
corey hart is headed for #mariners, according to sources. 1 year deal. will likely bat behind cano.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2013
Source: #Marlins trading Logan Morrison to Seattle for RHP Carter Capps
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) December 11, 2013
Of course, one or all of them could spend time at the designated hitter spot, vacated by the now-free agent Kendrys Morales, and there's still a possibility that incumbent first baseman Justin Smoak will be moved (to the Rays). I don't mean to point too much snark at the Mariners. Heck, they may be right, and the current market efficiency may very well be brand-name big bats.
What this does mean is that of the potential first base targets Danny profiled (part one and part two), Mark Trumbo, Hart, and Morrison are almost surely now off the table. Kevin Youkilis allegedly prefers to play on the west coast (although if you take the geography literally, that means the Pacific and Florida Gulf Coast). The Brewers are now squarely in the first base market as well, so it's possible there will be more movement soon.
The Corey Hart part of this deal is fairly simple. He's a fine hitter who signed a free agent contract (Edit 5:34: According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times on twitter, the deal is a one year deal with $6 million guaranteed and incentives up to $13 million). The Logan Morrison trade is more interesting, as Carter Capps is a pretty intriguing relief arm. Yes, he was hit for a 5.49 ERA in his first nearly-full major league season, but his peripherals were easily better than that. Before the season, Baseball America ranked him as the Mariners' seventh best prospect, and called his fastball "easily an 80 pitch on the 20-80 scouting scale." The Steamer projection system predicts a 3.24 ERA next season, and he's likely to become a closer-type arm.
That sinking fastball averages over 95 mph, and he's not a one-pitch pony.
I think the closest Rays comparison for Carter Capps is Alex Torres, so here's the question. Would you have been happy if Andrew Friedman had traded Torres for Morrison?