It's amazing how fast fortunes can change in sports.
Over the past two months it seemed as if Corey Hart was destined to be traded from the Milwaukee Brewers for starting pitching help. Hart then injured his wrist and a trade seemed almost impossible to pull off. Now, Hart has signed a three-year contract extension worth $26.5 million to remain in Milwaukee.
It's the ending Hart was hoping for all along.
Ever since rumors had surfaced that Hart was on the trading block, he had repeatedly spoke of his feelings to remain a Brewer over the long-term.
Hart is having a career-year in 2010. In 92 games, Hart is hitting .288 with 23 home runs and 72 RBI. His home run total is only one short of his career high, and he's only 20 RBI short of a career high in that category as well.
Hart saw limited action in the first month of the season as he split time with veteran Jim Edmonds. Since the middle of May, Hart caught fire and became one of the best power hitters in the game. He earned his second All-Star game appearance, and started the game alongside teammate Ryan Braun.
In addition to Hart's signing, top prospect Mat Gamel is also in the news for the Brewers.
It was announced by assistant GM Gord Ash that Gamel will shift between right field and first base the remainder of the season. The move was an insurance policy in case Hart or Prince Fielder were traded over the winter. With Hart signed long-term, Gamel should be seeing the majority of his time playing at first base for the remainder of the season.
If Fielder is indeed traded this winter, the Brewers now have several options for the 2011 season.
Not only will Gamel be ready to play first base, but Hart also has previous experience at first in the minors. The Brewers could move him to first and insert prospect Lorenzo Cain into a full-time outfield role.
Although the Brewers have lost out on trading one of their most valued pieces, they have an All-Star caliber outfielder in place for the next three-plus seasons. The only question now is whether or not Hart can continue the level of play he's displayed thus far in 2010.
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