Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Corey Hart is under contract with the team for one more season and then he is eligible for free agency. After his dominate season in 2012, it would certainly be wise for the team to extend Hart soon rather than deal with it later.
The Brewers and Hart have apparently not spoken about a contract extension, but that does not mean the two sides do not want to come to an agreement at some point in the near future. The 30-year-old made it very clear this past season during the MLB trade deadline that he did not want to be dealt and would prefer to spend the rest of his career in Milwaukee.
Jeff Berry, Hart’s agent, was in Indian Wells, California this past weekend, which was where the general manager meetings took place. GM Doug Melvin attended the annual meeting but never discussed Hart’s contract with Berry.
“Jeff Berry was here, but we didn’t talk about (Hart’s contract),” said Melvin. “We haven’t approached him with it. We had a general conversation about it, but there was no exchange. I don’t think it’s something we’ll engage in at this point. That could change. Our position in the past has been to talk about those things in the spring, if we’re going to do it. A lot of this stems from Corey stating during the season that he’d like to stay in Milwaukee. But we haven’t talked to his agent about doing it.”
Hart batted .270 with 30 home runs, 83 runs batted in, 35 doubles, four triples and 91 runs scored in 562 plate appearances this past season. The eight-year veteran successfully transitioned from right field to first base after Mat Gamel went down with an injury in April. The Brewers have already stated Hart will be the full time first baseman for the foreseeable future while Gamel will back him up.
Considering Hart continues to improve at the plate as each season passes and his defensive skills at first base appear to be invaluable, Milwaukee will do everything in their power to extend his contract before he ever gets a chance to test out free agency. As of right now, there is not a huge rush to get a deal done as he is still due $10 million for 2013. However, rumors have begun to circulate that the Brewers will offer a two-year extension in addition to next season.
Hart is clearly a huge part of the organization and is one of the main reasons why the team has enjoyed success over the past few years. I believe it is not so much a matter of if Milwaukee will extend his contract, but rather a matter of when they will.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.