Image Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off of a disappointing 2013 season, the Phillies will likely have a busy offseason ahead of them. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be taking a look at some of the players they might target.
Position: Right field/first base
2013 Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Key 2012 stats: .270 AVG/.334 OBP/.507 SLG/30 HR/83 RBI (Hart missed the entire 2013 season due to injury)
Up through 2012, Hart was a valuable member of the Brewers outfield. He was a multi-dimensional threat on offense who, despite putting up strong power numbers, often batted first in the lineup due to his high on base percentage. He would have been set to earn a big payday this offseason, but he suffered a knee injury late in 2012 and had to sit out the entire 2013 season.
Why He Might be a Good Fit
The Phillies could use upgrades in right field and at the leadoff spot, and assuming that he can regain his pre-injury form, Hart would fit the bill perfectly. He is a right-handed hitter who is also capable of playing first base which would allow the Phillies to rest Ryan Howard against tough lefties.
I also am holding out hope that he would use “Sunglasses at Night” as his walk-up music. This would be a tremendous addition to the music selection at home games.
Why He Might Not be a Good Fit
It’s always a risk to go after a player who missed an entire season due to injury. Now that he’s in his thirties, its unclear whether he’ll ever be able to match his pre-injury numbers.
Hart seems like a great “buy low” candidate. He should be cheaper than most other free agent options, and if he can come close to duplicating what he did from 2010-2012, he’d be an ideal fit in the Phillies outfield. I wouldn’t break the bank for him, but he’s definitely worth pursuing.