The Mariners are making over their lineup and sought power to protect new second baseman Robinson Cano. They hope they found it in first baseman Logan Morrison, though they gave up a pitcher with closer potential in Carter Capps.
Morrison has struggled the past two seasons to stay on the field, but offers sock when healthy and is versatile enough to play the outfield as well as first base, which is valuable with the addition of Corey Hart and the presence of incumbent first baseman Justin Smoak. Capps is a big, hard-throwing righthander who will compete at the back of Miami’s bullpen.
Carter Capps, rhp
Transactions: Selected by the Mariners in the third round of the 2011 draft (fifth overall).
Service time: 1.050.
Capps had a 5.49 ERA in 59 big league innings last season and struck out more than 10 per nine innings for the Mariners. His BABIP (.365) indicates he was either unlucky or a victim of poor defense, and his ERA should drop with a better defense and bigger ballpark. He averaged 96.5 mph on his fastball, and some scouts have graded his heater an 80 on the 20-80 scale. He will probably set up incumbent closer Steve Cishek for the Marlins, but the team would certainly view him as a potential future closer.
Logan Morrison, 1b/of
Age: 26. Bats: Left.
Transactions: Selected by Marlins in 22nd round of 2005 draft.
Remaining commitment: First-time arbitration eligible in 2014, earned $491,500 in 2013. Eligible for free agency in 2017.
The Marlins made no secret of their attempts to trade Morrison after signing Garrett Jones. The organization appeared to sour on him for his prominent social media presence, iffy health and poor performance over the last two seasons. In 2012-13, he hit just .236/.321/.387 in 187 games. Still, he’s a cheaper alternative to free agents Kendrys Morales, Nelson Cruz or Shin-Soo Choo. Seattle adds the lefty swinger to other new acquisitions Corey Hart and Robinson Cano in what should be a significant lineup upgrade.