The Tampa Bay Rays continue to look for ways to improve upon last season. There are still holes that need to be filled as the offseason rolls on, but the Rays have some ideas in mind to try to stay relevant in the competitive American League East.
It is still uncertain whether the team will bring back their ace David Price, or decide to trade him to another team for the right offer. Whether or not Price is traded will have a huge impact on the direction that the team goes in the offseason. With Price gone, the Rays would have more money to spend, and would most likely be looking for a way to make sure his departure would not ruin the team’s 2014 chances.
For now, however, the Rays are looking around for an inexpensive player that can really help their team out. One of these options appears to be Corey Hart.
Hart has played for the Milwaukee Brewers since his major league career began in 2004. He has proved to be a solid hitter that can make pitchers pay with the long ball. Hart’s best stats came in the 2010 season, in which he hit .283 with 31 home runs and 102 RBIs. Hart, however, sat out the entire 2013 season having had surgeries performed on both of his knees.
Hart has reported interest from several teams, but must wait until December 3 to get cleared by his doctor. The teams that Hart claims have reported interest are the Brewers, the Rays, the Boston Red Sox, and the Colorado Rockies.
Hart was drafted as a first baseman in 2000, but played outfield for the Brewers until 2012 when he was moved back to first base out of necessity. He claims that most of the interested teams would like to use him at first base in the 2014 season, due to the lack of quality players available for the position this offseason.
Regardless, Hart says that he is willing to play the outfield, and has lost twenty pounds and gained some agility and speed. He earned $10 million in 2013, and understands that he will most likely have to take a pay cut and prove himself next season. It is also important to note that Hart lives with his family in Arizona, where both the Brewers and the Rockies have their Spring Training bases.
Corey Hart would be a perfect fit for Tampa Bay, and would not be too much of a financial risk. If Hart is not glued to the idea of staying in Milwaukee, the Rays should definitely give the two-time All-Star a chance to be a part of their 2014 lineup.
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