In case you missed parts 1, 2, and 3, wherein we explored the reasons for and against trading Manny Parra and Nyjer Morgan and George Kottaras, respectively.
Hi! My name is JON COREY HART, but you can call me ARMFACE. And here's why you should trade me!
2012/Career vitals: In 2012, Hart stands at .250/.312/.500 through 73 games. He's striking out a ton -- 87, compared to 114 last year and 140 in 2010 -- but strikeouts are a dumb way to judge a hitter and anyone who tells you otherwise is not your friend and is probably an alien or a zombie or -- worst case -- Bob Costas. He's been worth 1.2 fWAR this year, largely because FanGraphs hates his defense: he's at 0.0 UZR in right field and (-2.7) UZR at first base, which is kind of silly because his primary asset as a defender is that he's tall and it's good to have tall guys playing first base. Whatevs.
For his career, Hart's been worth 16.2 fWAR, which is all the more impressive when you consider he's at (-15.8) UZR over his six seasons. He's also the reigning, six-time champion of Worst Tattoos in the Clubhouse, as no one can come close to the twin terrors of armface and the horridly silly "WHY SO SERIOUS?" tat that traces his spine.*
* Don't get me wrong: Dark Knight was a great movie, even if it should have been about 20 minutes shorter. But in 10 years, having the catchphrase of a comic book movie scrawled on your back is going to look even sillier than it does now, and it looks pretty, pretty, pretty damn silly now. I mean: you don't see anybody rocking "THAT'S RIGHT ICEMAN, I AM DANGEROUS" tats nowadays, do you?
Contract sitch: Corey is in the second year of a three-year deal that pays him $9.33 million. Next year, he's due $10.33 million.
DEAL ME NOW! Hear me out on this one:
If you want the Brewers to sell in July, you should probably want the Brewers to deal Hart even more than you want them to deal Zack Greinke.
Arguably, Hart's a more valuable piece than Zack: you'd be getting him for a year-and-a-half on a very team-friendly deal for a guy who's put up 4.2, 3.7, and 4.6 fWAR seasons in the last five years. He's got great pop, gets on base at a decent clip, and he's now a semi-viable first baseman. Is that worth more than three months of Greinker? At the very least, you paused for a few seconds before you answered, didn't you? And, last but certainly not least, when you factor in that Hart is probably going to make Andre Ethier-type money in his next contract ...
Please don't read this part, opposing GMs: Hart's UZR numbers in the outfield are all over the map: FanGraphs pegged his range factor at 5.8 last year, for example, but had it completely reversed in 2010 (-5.8). Having a defender like Carlos Gomez (and even Nyjer Morgan, on his good days) next to you can cover up a lot of deficiencies, of course, but my eyes tell me that Hart's never been a very good outfielder, and, at age 30, he's probably not going to get much better. And while he's looked good so far at first base, I think we might be giving him more credit than he's due simply because we expected him to be really, really bad and he hasn't been.
Plus: Hart's gotten nicked up in each of the last two spring trainings, and you wonder how long a dude that tall can go for 150+ games a year before his knees quit.
Fill in the blank: Corey Hart is worth his weight in: ink, both the stuff all over his body and the stuff he's going to use to sign his five-year, $90-million contract after the 2013 season.
Gratuitous note about the Foo Fighters: The Foo Fighters are the greatest rock band of my generation. (That wasn't an invitation to debate, BTW.) Tonight, I am going to watch them play a rock show, and hopefully have my face melted off the in the process. If you, too, are going to this rock show, and if you can find me before said face-melting occurs, I might buy you a beer. I'll be the bald cat in the velociraptor riding a velocipede T-shirt. (Because of course.)
Why Doug Melvin probably won't trade him: Because he tried that once and essentially got laughed off the phone; remember the "Hart for Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner" talk from a couple years back?
How desperate should we be to move him, on the Rubie Q Patented Trade This Slug-O-Meter: I feel very strongly about this: if we're going to move one player this July, it needs to be Corey Hart. He's going to get expensive in a hurry, and I think the haul for him could be impressive, especially if you can work a deal with a team desperate for a right-handed power bat. I say 10.