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Mariners sign free agent Corey Hart

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik today announced that the club has signed free agent Corey Hart to a contract for the 2014 season.

Hart, 31, missed the entire 2013 season due to a torn meniscus in his right knee. He underwent surgery on March 6, performed by Dr. Evan Lederman and Dr. William Raasch. Hart underwent season-ending surgery on July 3 to repair a chondral defect in his left knee, an injury suffered while rehabbing his right knee (Dr. Neal ElAttrache).

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Hart converted from right field to first base during the 2012 season after an injury to starter Mat Gamel in May. He batted .270 with 30 HR and 83 RBI in 149 games that season. He was among the National League leaders in extra base hits (T5th, 69) and home runs (T10th). Hart posted a .995 fielding percentage as a first baseman, committing just 4 errors in 103 games (97 starts), including none over his first 59 games (53 starts).

The two-time All-Star (2008 & 2010) was a .276 career hitter with 154 HR and 508 RBI in 945 games with the Brewers (2004-12). His 87 home runs between 2010-2012 ranked 6th-best in the National League and his .514 slugging percentage ranked 11th during that span.

Hart was originally drafted by the Brewers in the 11th round of the 2000 June Amateur Draft.

To make room on the Major League 40-man roster, outfielder Travis Witherspoon has been designated for assignment.

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