Hart, 31, missed the entire 2013 season with multiple knee surgeries, but over his previous three seasons the righthanded slugger has hit .280 with an .857 OPS and has averaged 30 homers. During that span he’s produced a 9.5 bWAR and a 94 RAR.
He has been very outspoken about remaining with the Brewers and giving them a big hometown discount. “I’d definitely take a discount to stay here because I think I owe it to them.” said Hart. “Nobody wants to play for free but I basically sat there and watched all season. I owe it to them and the fans to come back at a cheaper price.”
Hart’s price tag likely would be considerably less than the $10 million he earned last year, writes Puma, and likely wouldn’t preclude the Mets from pursuing bigger-ticket items such as Jhonny Peralta and Curtis Granderson.
But with a glut of first baseman, the Mets could look to trade Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, giving Hart the job outright. According to a club source, the Mets almost certainly will tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible Davis, with the idea he can be used as trade bait if necessary, despite his disastrous 2013 season, a year after he rebounded from an awful first half.
But there is still some thought throughout the industry Hart can play the outfield, leaving first base to either Davis or Duda in a potential platoon with Josh Satin.