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Game 49 Thoughts: Trade Hart While He’s Hot

I don’t know who this guy is or what he’s done with the real Corey Hart, but I’ll take it.

How do you follow a walkoff two-run homer?  By hitting a grand slam in your first at-bat of the next game, naturally, and tacking on a two-run shot in your next at-bat.  You know, just for good measure.

Don’t look now, but Hart is tied for the National League lead in home runs.

While it’s been great to watch Hart hit the past few weeks, I have to say there’s a part of me that wishes the Brewers can find a way to trade him soon.  His value is probably never going to be higher, and there seems to be a market slowly developing for an outfielder with a bit of pop — Ken Rosenthal is saying the Giants, Padres, and A’s are all teams that may be interested in Hart’s services. 

The longer this hot streak goes, the higher my hopes get when it comes to his trade value.  While I would’ve been surprised if the Brewers got a Dave Bush-type for him at the start of the year (remember all those Hart-for-John Maine rumors over the winter?), it’s getting to the point where it might be possible that he could net a younger arm with more upside.

Would it weaken a Brewers offense that’s been scuffling a bit lately?  Yeah, it would, at least as long as Prince Fielder is struggling to find his home runs swing and Ryan Braun keeps hovering around the Mendoza Line at home.  But offense will not be the weakness of this team going forward — a lack of pitching with upside will be.

Given the way he’s swinging the bat lately, trading Hart probably wouldn’t be very popular with the average fan, especially if he keeps up his hot streak into the trading season.  But with all the flak Doug Melvin catches for not selling high (think Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy), it would be time to take a perceived risk and trade him while the market is hot.

The Brewers are still unlikely to contend this year, thanks to the hole they dug for themselves with the 9-game losing streak.  If you’re going to entertain trade offers for Fielder, you might as well trade Hart — a guy many people were expecting to get non-tendered after this season — while you’re at it.

FanGraphs Win Probability

W: Todd Coffey (2-1)
L: Fernando Nieve (1-3)
SV: John Axford (2)

NYM HR: Ike Davis (5)
MIL HR: George Kottaras (4), Corey Hart 2 (12)