Sept 1, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Corey Hart (1) hits a game-winning home run off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Joel Hanrahan (52) (not pictured) in the ninth inning at Miller Park. The Brewers beat the Pirates 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Hart: Why We Wanted Him

I’ve seen a backlash on Twitter today, following the announcement that the Mariners were signing Corey Hart to a one-year deal. There were also some very happy fans.

Many people were confused as to why the Mariners would sign a player who was primarily used as a first baseman in 2012, when we have Justin Smoak. Some others are wary of his knees, which he had surgery on last January and missed the entire 2013 season.

But I’m here to tell you why signing Hart makes sense.

Hart is a two-time All-Star as an outfielder. The Milwaukee Brewers moved him to first base in 2012 because of injuries to Mat Gamel and Travis Ishikawa. Hart is an outfielder, primarily a right fielder.

The two knee operations are troubling, hence the one-year incentive-laden deal. It’s a low-risk/high-reward move by the Mariners. Hart’s doctors have cleared him and deemed him ready for action.

Hart could end up being AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Over the previous three seasons Hart played (2010-2012), Hart averaged 29 homers, 82 RBI and 87 runs scored. He will more than likely bat third (if Cano bats cleanup) or cleanup (if Cano bats third). Just the type of protection Cano needs.

He’s also a gap hitter – perfect for the spacious Safeco Field. He has 211 doubles and 33 triples so far in his career to go with his 154 homers.

Defensively, he is better than he gets credit for. His fielding % as a right fielder is .988, which ranks as the 16th-best of all-time (and 7th among active RF).

For those of you that are more into sabermetrics, Hart has a lifetime WAR of 16.0 and has an average RAR of 28.5 over the past six seasons.

Plus, he is a right-handed bat. Something the lefty-happy Mariners are in desperate need of.

So I guess the bigger question is: Why WOULDN’T we want Corey Hart?

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  • drwheelock

    Exactly!!! I LOVED this move!

  • ricefield

    The trade I don’t get is the one for Morrison. He doesn’t have good numbers and is another 1st baseman.

    • tedsfrozenhead

      I agree. Hopefully he might be packaged in a trade. His last good year was 3 years ago and he has been injured ever since. He once had great potential but those injuries make him suspect. M’s need to sign players who can contribute now and not players we hope will work out.

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  • maqman

    LoMo can play 1B if Smoak isn’t up to it, or fill a corner OF spot, DH, pinch hit, pinch run and fill in where Willie Ballgame can’t. He’s essentially a spare part that cost us a bullpen arm that didn’t have a great season this year. The Pirates, Brewers and Astros still need a 1B and we have one to spare.

  • Dan Hughes

    LoMo can play 1B but he will more than likely be in RF with a turn at DH. With Hart at 1B and/or DH. Smoak gives us some leverage in the trade market with several teams still needing a 1B. We should get a good return on him.