Corey Hart in Contract Arbitration For 2010 Season

Jim OxleyContributor IFebruary 10, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 07:  Corey Hart #1 of the Milwaukee Brewers catches a ball hit by Bengie Molina of the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season on April 7, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers and Corey Hart will participate in a contract arbitration hearing on Thursday.

Hart made $3.25 million last season, and through agent Jeff Berry, filed for $4.8 million. The Brewers offered $4.15 million and have not heard back since the passing of the team-imposed deadline on the deal.

As of now, Hart will be a Brewer in the 2010 season with at least a $900,000 raise.

My question is: Is Hart worth the raise?

Hart’s stats last season saw a significant decrease from his previous two seasons. Granted, he had an appendectomy midseason. However, he suffered nearly a two-month dry spell leading up to his appendectomy.

Hart isn’t in a position to tell the Brewers what he wants. If he can bounce back from the injury to get back to the player he was in the 2008 season, he may have a justifiable plea at a raise.

Personally, I see Hart sharing time with Jody Gerut to open the 2010 season and eventually being replaced in the starting lineup.

Hart’s major upside is his speed, but manager Ken Macha rarely gives the steal sign. When Hart made the All-Star Game in 2008, it was because of his consistency. He never did anything too special but always managed to do enough.

I’m not so sure that consistency is still there, but everyone has rough patches. Hart simply needs to prove his worth.

Regardless of the arbitration hearing, Hart will have a season left on his contract in which he can persuade the Brewers with his production going into contract negotiations for the 2011 season.