Sep 26, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Corey Hart (1) fields a ball during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Could Corey Hart Be an Eventual Fit for the New York Yankees?

There are a ton of names that get thrown around every year about who the New York Yankees should or shouldn’t get. But let me throw a new one out there for you – Corey Hart. The Milwaukee Brewers All-Star is currently out for the season with a knee injury, but that shouldn’t stop the Yankees from taking a look at him when he hits free agency later this year.

Hart would effectively replace Granderson’s production. (Image: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees will most likely be losing a big part of their offense in Curtis Granderson at the end of the season. Granderson, who has been one of the best power hitters in baseball when healthy, will almost surely sign on with a different team. This would leave a huge gap in the team’s lineup, as they would then be relying on getting power from Mark Teixeira and possibly Robinson Cano. Hart would surely be able to step in and fill Granderson’s role both in the lineup and in the outfield.

Hart is primarily used as a first baseman with the Brewers, but has seen plenty of time in right field. Surely an outfield consisting of Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner, and Hart would be pretty formidable in its own right. With Travis Hafner likely not being brought back to the Bronx next year, and the status of Alex Rodriguez constantly in doubt, Hart could also see a lot of time as designated hitter.

Hart – unlike Granderson – can hit for both average and power. While Granderson might give you a 40 home runs season, he’ll show a .220 batting average to go along with it. Hart on the other hand may not give you 40 home runs, but he’ll jack out 30 bombs a year with a batting average around .275. Plus, with Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field, those home run numbers can definitely increase, even though Hart is a righty.

The reason I bring up Corey Hart is because I think that due to his recent knee injury, he can be had for a lot less than he normally would. Knee injuries can be a little bit tricky, so teams may be increasingly wary about what kind of production he can put up when fully healthy. The Yankees, though, shouldn’t worry about that. With great risk comes great reward, as they say.

Hart is currently 31 years old and will turn 32 before the 2014 season begins. This could also cause teams to shy away from him as he would be “on the wrong side of 30.” But the fact is, prior to the injury, there was no decline in Hart’s production. In fact, you can argue that like a fine wine, he has gotten better with age. I really don’t think that signing Hart to – say – a three year deal is such an asinine idea. That would allow the Yankees to give their big outfield prospects some added time to develop before bringing them up to the Bronx in effort to maximize their potential value to the team.

Hart would be a very good fit in the Bronx, and with an increasingly worrying situation regarding the offense for the team next year, he would also be a smart signing.

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