I am a sports talk-show junkie. I listen to sports talk shows all day while I write sports for a living. I am a very lucky guy.
One of the things that bothers me is when sports talk hosts come off sounding rather stupid to be polite. Fans are different. They can be illogical because they are fans and can be emotional. The reason for this blog is the Corey Hart signing.
The Brewers signed Hart today and people were confused. Weren't they going to trade Corey Hart? Why sign him to a 3-year contract? This hurts them for the future? Why move Matt Gamel to the OF and Brett Lawrie to 3B and the OF then?
Let me try and answer some of these pretty simple questions.
Why sign him to a contract?
It takes two to tango folks and Hart has publicly been saying 'I WANT TO STAY HERE.' He is a solid player and a two-time All-Star. The contract not only fits the market, but the Brewers cut out one year of arbitration and two years of free agency. If a talented player WANTS to stay here, WANTS to make a deal and management WANTS to sign him, a deal is usually made.
This is a good example of the player being the agent's boss. Hart wanted a deal and told the agent, who has been tough to deal with in the past, go make a deal and it got done. Learn from this. Scott Boras isn't running the show with Prince Fielder. Fielder has said Boras works for him. If a person WANTS to play here a deal will get done. WANTS is the key word.
Weren't the Brewers going to trade Corey Hart?
Sure and this deal will actually make trading him - if that is their plan - a lot easier. A team now knows they have Hart for three years at a reasonable cost if they trade for him. It helps increase his value, which helps the team getting him and ups the ante for what the Brewers can get in return.
What about 'The Plan' they just announced about moving Matt Gamel and Brett Lawrie from their current positions?
Gord Ash, assistant GM, talked about 3B Gamel moving to 1B and the OF and 2B Lawrie spending some time at 3B and the OF also. Focus on the new infield positions for both, not the OF as much.
Unless something happens - like Fielder realizing he can get by on $20 million dollars a year - the big guy is not going to be in the Brewers' future. He will take all the money he can get and rumble (running really doesn't describe what Fielder does) out of town.
If you've seen Gamel play 3B - and many pro scouts have - his favorite position is probably batter. He is being groomed to play 1B. As for Lawrie, if he can play 3B, then Casey McGehee might move to 1B. Maybe Hart will move to CF and Gamel or Lawrie can play RF. The point is the Brewers are experimenting in the minor leagues - where it should be done - and not in the major leagues, so don't get your undies in a bundle because this isn't happening tomorrow.
I love people who say where are all these guys - Gamel, Lawrie, McGehee, Hart going to play? If they are all good major league players - IF is the key word - then I would have to think of something former Brewer GM Harry Dalton once said.
Cecil Cooper was coming off the DL and his replacement was playing great. One of the writers asked Dalton how he was going to handle that 'problem.'
Dalton looked at the writer and said 'If I had no one to play 1B, then that would be a problem. What I have here is a situation.'
Be a hit and have a ball.