While Brewer fans and management go back-and-forth on the merits of dealing Prince Fielder away for young, controllable pitching, there is little to no room for debate on Corey Hart.
Hart was named to his second All-Star team on Sunday, and is on pace to have the best season of his career. The Brewers need to sell high on Hart, and begin to bring good pitching to Milwaukee. The San Francisco Giants are the perfect counterpart to make such a deal happen, and each team would benefit from making a deal as soon as possible.
After a season to forget in 2009, Hart has been the most consistent hitter in Milwaukee in 2010. He is tied for second in the National League with 19 home runs, seven more than he hit in 2009, and only five away from his career high of 24 set in 2007. His 61 RBI are already far better than his 48 from a season ago, and barring injury, he should easily surpass his career-high 91 RBI from 2008.
The Giants started off the season well enough, but have slumped recently and are in desperate need of help. A 2-8 stretch over their last 10 games have dropped them to fourth place in the ultra-competitive NL West, six-and-a-half games behind first place San Diego.
Buster Posey received a ton of hype when he finally got his call to the Majors, and the Giants opened up the catching position for him by trading away veteran Bengie Molina. That move slid Aubrey Huff back to first base, but left the Giants a bit short-handed in the outfield. Pat Burrell has put up nice numbers since joining the team, but he alone can't carry the offensive load for a team.
Hart's power numbers would immediately put him as the leader on the Giants team. Additionally, his four steals would put him behind only Andres Torres, who has stolen 15 bases this year. Hart also has a very strong arm and good range in the outfield. Although he plays right field for the Brewers, he is capable of playing any of the three outfield positions.
The Prince Fielder-for-Matt Cain rumors have been running rampant for a few years now, and though Hart going to San Francisco won't bring back such a large return, he could still bring the Brewers a quality pitcher in return. Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner, or Zack Wheeler would be a fine get for Brewers GM Doug Melvin in exchange for Hart.
The Giants could be persuaded to part with a quality pitcher knowing they would have Hart for the rest of 2010 and the entire 2011 season before he becomes a free agent. Penciling in his power and speed numbers around Huff and Pablo Sandoval for a season-and-a-half would give the Giants a line-up to compete with any team in the West.
Ironically enough, the Giants begin a four-game series in Milwaukee tomorrow. Both teams would be wise to do business off the field before the Giants leave Thursday afternoon.
The Brewers public relations department may take a bit of a hit trading away a newly named All-Star, but the potential return is too great to pass up for a team that is pitching-starved and may be without Yovani Gallardo for awhile after he injured himself on Sunday.
To read more by Jesse Motiff, click here .