Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Giants Interested in Corey Hart

We know that Brian Sabean is in Milwaukee right now, but what we do not really know is who is he targeting? Prince Fielder? Corey Hart? Does he need more time to make a decision? According to Henry Schulman, Hart is the man that has piqued Sabean's interest. The possible interest in Hart was first reported by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, but Schulman is now saying it's a real possibility that Sabean is in Milwaukee to work out a deal for Hart. It is my opinion that making such a trade would be a mistake, for many reasons.

Corey Hart is having a great season, an All-Star season. His numbers, .288/.350/.573/.923, are very impressive. But based on his past production, Hart isn't likely to repeat these numbers, and the Giants would be acquiring him at his peak. That means they will have to give too much to get him. And when I say too much, I mean Jonathan Sanchez and a prospect, probably someone like Thomas Neal. A young pitcher with potential and a pretty good prospect is too much to give up for a guy whose career numbers say he isn't a difference-maker.

Like I said, Hart's career numbers do not suggest that he can be a game-changing, middle of the order hitter. Before this year, Hart's only other above-average season was in 2007 when he had a line of .295/.353/.539/.892. Every other year, Hart never had an OPS over .800. At this point in his career, Hart is most similar to Rocco Baldelli, Jim Greengrass, Josh Willingham, Johnny Rizzo, and Ryan Church according to Baseball-Reference. For the most part, that's a pretty unimpressive list. The Giants would be asking him to come in and hit in the middle of the order in a much harder park to hit in than Miller Park. Ignoring his mediocre years and expecting him to keep up with his 2010 production would be risky and unwise.

The last reason I wouldn't be a fan of this deal deals with the future. Hart is 28 right now and will be 30 when his deal expires after the 2011 season. As a 30 year old free agent hitter with a couple of pretty good years and a few mediocre ones, he would not be worth re-signing. In that way, he reminds me of Jason Bay. Bay was a very good hitter but he hit free agency at age 30, got a big contract, and so far isn't producing the way he should be. I don't like the chances of Hart being worth the large contract he's sure to demand when his current deal expires. I know people think Prince Fielder's body is going to break down and he won't deserve the contract he gets, but I'd much rather have a 28 year old Prince Fielder than a 30 year old Corey Hart.

Corey Hart is a very good hitter and he would instantly improve the Giants offense. But he's the wrong guy for the Giants to go after. He would demand Sanchez and Neal which is too much, especially when you could probably get Prince Fielder for just a little more. If the Giants offense is really going be a playoff caliber unit, a game changing slugger is what they need. Prince Fielder is that guy. Corey Hart is not.


  1. Hart is hitting very well this year, but his previous two years are far more indicative of the player he really is. But that's not even the reason I don't want him. I'll quote a Mets blogger who said last winter of a John Maine for Corey Hart trade: "Below average plate discipline, decent power and bad defense at a non premium position". We've been told that Hart would instantly improve our outfield defense, which is just not true. Corey Hart is simply not good defensively, and I won't bother you with the advanced statistics that say this. Just cause he's tall and has long legs doesn't mean he's Jim Edmonds. And Huff would be the one moving to first base, so the main defensive liability in the outfield, Burrell, would still be out there.

  2. Yeah I didn't even mention the defense. I've heard he has a strong arm, but other than that there's not much to like. And it is true that his OBP should be much higher.

    Although, I bet the Mets would've liked to do that deal now...