With barely any time to take a breath, the Mariners have shipped out Carter Capps to the Miami Marlins in exchange for left-handed 1B/OF Logan Morrison.
Morrison and the Marlins have been on the outs for a while now, after he filed a grievance against them for being unfairly shipped to AAA. He's also a real jokester on Twitter and has gotten in some hot water for it, but whatever. It doesn't mean much without production, which is something Morrison has struggled with for a number of years.
Morrison has been a below replacement-level player for the past two seasons, but still just 26, there's unquestionably untapped potential at the plate. Morrison posted wRC+ of 129 and 116 in 2010 and 2011 before declining to 90 and 96 over the past few years. Oliver likes his bat, and projects Morrison to bounce back with 2 win seasons for the next four years, and that includes a -10.5 defensive component. Like Corey Hart, Morrison has also had knee problems, and is coming off surgery himself.
He's a mess in the outfield, and that's been a large component of his below replacement level performances in the past two seasons. He's played primarily left field and first base, but the infield is where he belongs, if he could hit well enough to justify it.
He could potentially make up part of a platoon at first base/left field/DH, though the Mariners currently lack the right-handed counterpart, as Corey Hart will presumably be playing every day. It's possible that he could combine with Franklin Gutierrez or a trade candidate like Justin Ruggiano to form a left field platoon, and if the roster stays the same, that's probably the most likely scenario.
It's unclear as to what this means for Justin Smoak. Either he'll stick at first base and Morrison will play left field, or Smoak will be packaged in a deal for another piece. There are teams looking for options at first base, including the Milwaukee Brewers after being snubbed by Corey Hart. Ike Davis is also on the market, and teams might choose to take a flyer on Smoak or Davis instead of shelling out money for somebody like James Loney.
Still, there's a concern that the Mariners are loading up on too many 1B/DH types once again, already rostering three of them to replace the three they lost (Ibanez, Morse, Morales). I can't judge their plans until the off-season is finished.
Gone is Carter Capps, who had a miserable 2013. The potential for a dominant reliever is in there somewhere, but his stuff took a huge step back and the path to success leans, at least in some part, on better command and that 2-3 mph he lost off his fastball.
Morrison's chances to bounce back aren't great, but it's hard to complain about the cost to acquire him. I said it before, and I'll say it again - the Mariners need to load themselves up with high-upside pieces if they want to win a division title, and Morrison has that. Things are moving. This is fun.