It is funny how one team’s offseason can be improved while another team’s gets crushed with the loss of just one player. The Seattle Mariners have signed first baseman Corey Hart to a one-year deal to provide protection for Robinson Cano on offense. There’s no question this is a huge blow to the Milwaukee Brewers, who were under the assumption that the slugger would return under a hometown discount.
“hart’s relationship with mariners gm zduriencik couldnt have hurt. jack z drafted hart for milwaukee. now takes from milw,” Jon Heyman tweeted.
The loss of Hart puts Milwaukee in a major pickle, one that will not be easily fixed. Sure, the Brewers have been linked to first basemen Ike Davis and Logan Morrison. But honestly, do those players excite anyone in the Brew City? Absolutely not.
Losing Hart is just more than losing a major offensive threat and a talented defensive first baseman. The Brewers are losing a fan favorite, which is something the team doesn’t have many left of after the moving of several players and Ryan Braun’s run in with performance-enhancers. Not to mention, Hart was the team’s longest tenured player.
It appears Milwaukee’s main focus will now turn to Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney. The 29-year-old had a very successful season in 2013 in which he batted .299 with 13 home runs, 75 RBI, 33 doubles, three stolen bases and a .348 on-base percentage in 549 at-bats. It was a vast improvement over his horrendous statistics in 2012.
Loney is a hot and cold player who has a roller coaster career at the plate. However, the fact is he appears to be the best option for the Brewers at the point. More importantly, it is more than likely that a deal will get done with him sooner rather than later.