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Mariners, free agent Hart agree to one-year contract

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The Canadian Press
12/11/2013 8:35:53 PM
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SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners added a pair of slugging first baseman-outfielders to go along with Robinson Cano on Wednesday, reaching agreement on a one-year deal with Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

Hart confirmed he had agreed to the deal in a text to The Associated Press. The deal is still pending what should be a closely monitored physical after Hart missed all of last season following surgery on his right knee.

Morrison was acquired for relief pitcher Carter Capps, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was pending both teams reviewing medical records.

CBSSports.com first reported Hart's agreement.

"Knees good as well as the rest of me. Been working hard and glad to be able to get out there with this exciting club," Hart said in a text message.

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 offence a top priority this off-season. It started with the stunning $240 million, 10-year agreement reached with Cano late last week and 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.

For his career, Hart has hit 154 homers and is hitting .276 in 945 games. Hart has spent his entire career with the Brewers. If he's healthy, Hart has the ability to play both outfield and first base, and outfield depth is one of Seattle's biggest concerns going into next season. Hart also could be a solution at designated hitter with Seattle unsure if it will be able to re-sign free agent Kendrys Morales, who was the Mariners' top power hitter last season.

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.

Morrison also has been slowed by injuries. He had right knee surgery in September 2012 and missed the first two months of the 2013 season before making his debut. He played 85 games last season for Miami.

The Miami Herald first reported Morrison's trade.

Capps appeared in 53 games out of the bullpen for Seattle last season. He was 3-3 with a 5.49 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 59 innings pitched. Capps' struggle was giving up the long ball, allowing 12 home runs. According to STATS, the 12 homers allowed were tied for fourth most given up by any relief pitcher in baseball last season.

Corey Hart (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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