Friday's Frosty Mug: Have a Hart

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We're talking about a possible Brewer return for Corey Hart and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while recreating the experience.

Free agency doesn't officially start until five days after the World Series, but the Brewers can still negotiate with their own players between now and then. One player who may already have gotten a phone call is Corey Hart, and Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar argues the case for giving him one more year in Milwaukee.

If Hart is willing to accept a one-year deal, then I think there's a strong chance he'll be a Brewer again in 2014. Whether or not he's willing to do that, though, depends on his definition of "discount." Back in September Noah collected some quotes from Hart, including these two:

"I told them I would be very generous to stay here. I wouldn't sit there and ask for anything outlandish. I'd definitely take a discount to stay here because I think I owe it to them to stay here and be a cheaper player."

"Nobody wants to play for free but I basically sat there and watched all season. I owe it to them and the fans to come back at a cheaper price. That's kind of what we're hoping for but at the same time I don't know what's going to happen."

The phrase "take a discount" is in there, but so is "Nobody wants to play for free." Also notable is the fact that he never mentions a one-year deal. So the real question is twofold: What does Hart think he's worth at this point, and how much of a "discount" is he willing to give the Brewers? I think many of us are operating under the assumption that Hart would take a shorter deal, but if he thinks his market value is something like four years, $48 million (much less than the 5/$90mm the Giants gave Hunter Pence), then he may see something like 3/$30mm as a remarkable price drop.

It's also worth noting that Hart's tune could change once he sees who else is interested in his services. Metsblog has a look at him as a candidate to join New York.

If Hart doesn't return for 2014, here's an option I don't think we've considered yet: Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo asks if Rickie Weeks could be moved to first base. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew, by the way, gave Weeks a D+ for his 2013 performance.

Regardless of what happens with Hart, Ryan Braun will be back next season. Mark Attanasio was in town yesterday to receive an award from the Milwaukee Public Libraries and told CBS 58 that Braun isn't going anywhere.

The only move Braun may make is from left to right field to make room for Khris Davis. Noah profiled Davis yesterday as the latest honorable mention in our MVBrewers series. Stop back this afternoon to see who we're profiling today.

Today in free agency:

And in the minors:

  • Jason Rogers went 2-for-4 with a home run and a pair of walks but it was not enough as Surprise lost 10-9 to Salt River in the Arizona Fall League (Box Score). Adam Weisenberger also went 0-for-4 with a walk in the game.
  • In the Dominican Republic, Juan Francisco was on base three times with a single and two walks and Sean Halton went 1-for-4 with a double and scored a run in Licey's 6-4 win over Cibao (box score).

Around baseball:

Nationals: Are expected to hire Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams as their new manager.

Nearly all of you probably know that the Cardinals beat the Red Sox last night, evening the World Series at one game apiece. David Pinto of Baseball Musings notes that there hasn't been a single sweep among seven playoff series this fall.

No matter what the Brewers do this offseason, it's important to remember that things could always be worse. The Marlins went 62-100 this season, and team president David Samson promised yesterday that the team won't lose 100 again in 2014. The Brewers have only lost 100 games once in franchise history.

The Astros are another 100-game loser from 2013 looking ahead to brighter days. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com interviewed new Houston first base coach Pat Listach about working close to home in Houston and developing the future of this franchise.

Today in baseball economics:

  • The Marlins and Giants are reported to be subjects of a federal investigation looking into potential wage violations. Clubhouse attendants for both teams are paid $55/day but work long hours, leaving them well below the federal minimum wage.
  • Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times notes that the estimated value of MLB franchises has gone up 35% since Forbes' list was released in January, and the biggest change over that time was the Dodgers' $2.15 billion sale.

Finally, today is 1985-86 Brewer Danny Darwin's 58th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 81 career hit batsmen are the second-most ever for a pitcher born on October 25. It also would have been 1954-57 Milwaukee Brave Bobby Thomson's 90th birthday, and his 34 career HBP are the second-most ever for a position player born on this day.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get out of the shot.

Drink up.

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