This will be quick.
Caught word today of some potential specifics regarding the rumored "seriousness" regarding the Tampa Bay Rays' interest in acquiring Milwaukee Brewers right-fielder, and 2010 All-Star starter, Corey Hart.
As everyone knows, the Brewers are looking for pitching in return for moving any pieces right now. Well, the Rays are said to be offering that and another piece.
The other piece is said to be a minor-league infielder named Matt Sweeney who currently plays for the Rays Double-A affiliate. The supposed sticking point in negotiations? The name of the pitcher that would be going from Tampa Bay to Milwaukee.
The two names that were given to me were Wade Davis, who is currently in the Tampa Bay rotation, and high-A starting pitcher Matt Moore. What's more, I was told that the Rays would prefer to move Davis while Milwaukee would choose to have Moore included in the deal.
Davis' departure would clear space for Tampa Bay's top pitching prospect to perhaps join the rotation for the balance of the 2010 season in Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson, of course, starred during the Futures Game played just a couple of days ago.
That being said, the Brewers prefer Moore for a few reasons, to be sure. I have no direct knowledge of the reasons for that preference, but if I were to speculate it would be because of the following things:
- Moore's service-time clock has not ticked even one-minute yet giving the Brewers a full six-years minimum out of him. Davis, conversely, is pitching in his second big league season already.
- Moore is billed as a hard-throwing, strikeout pitcher. He has amassed 122 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched so far.
- The Brewers might be positioning themselves for another run at the post-season in a few years when much of what's seen as its best pitching prospects, currently in the lower levels of the minor leagues, might reach the majors together.
That this information is coming down following the reports from credentialed sources as well about the Rays' increase in interest comes as no surprise to this writer. I have long been saying that it wouldn't shock me in the least if Corey Hart's last at-bat tonight in the 2010 All-Star Game is his final at-bat in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform.
The philosophy of Buy Low/Sell High only works on the sales end if you actually pull that proverbial trigger when the value of the player is at its highest.
Corey Hart is the quintessential Sell High candidate for the Milwaukee Brewers in that he is playing quite a bit above his level of play from the past couple of years.
The counter-argument, naturally, is that this is the real Corey Hart so why would you want to move him? What if he turns into an offensive force for another team? My response to that is a simple one: If he brings back a pitcher that helps us win next year or down the road, then the deal works out for both sides and I'm fine with it.
After all, I'd rather play the odds of regression, trend and past-performance and take my chances that Hart won't stay this hot going forward.
This Milwaukee Brewers team has had offense to spare in recent seasons with its Achilles' Heel having been a lack of pitching. There is no arguing that point.
It's high time to flip the script a bit and move a bat to get an arm.
We have to hope that it's a quality arm but at least we have the unknown to look forward to with that hope instead of the fear based on the past that we've seen out of Hart.
It's a gamble worth taking.