Brewers right fielder Corey Hart is "being eyed" by the Rays and Padres, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Two days ago, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that the Rays "appear to be getting serious" about Hart. And don't forget the Giants, whose interest is well-known to MLBTR readers as well as Hart himself.
Hart fits a criteria shared by the Giants and Padres: he's under team control for 2011. He has about $2.16MM remaining on this year's contract, and he'll be arbitration-eligible for 2011. Hart posted an All-Star first half: .288/.349/.569 with 21 home runs and 65 RBIs in 338 plate appearances. But any suitor has to be concerned that the Brewers are selling high. Just three months ago, I wrote that Hart "stands a good chance of being non-tendered" after the 2010 season. ESPN's Keith Law had this to say on July 8th:
"I wouldn't trade anything of value for Hart. His first half is way over his head, and hitters who can be beaten that easily would scare me if I was looking to acquire them for a playoff run."
The Giants might be wary; Shea says GM Brian Sabean "doesn't appear to be willing to move any of his starting pitchers, which the Brewers would demand." Tommy Rancel of DRaysBay expects the Rays to take a cautionary stance as well. As for the Padres, FOX Sports' Jim Bowden tweeted word from owner Jeff Moorad that adding a bat is secondary to starting pitching. Perhaps the Giants, Rays, and Padres are three teams that wouldn't mind adding Hart but won't overpay to do so.