The Boston Red Sox could have a hole to fill at first base depending on what happens on the Mike Napoli front. Regardless of what plays out, the team is doing it’s due diligence in the event they need to move on from Napoli and one possibility is former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman/outfielder and free agent Corey Hart.
According to Hart himself, who was a guest on MLB Network Radio, four clubs have contacted him about his services including the Red Sox. The other teams include the Brewers, Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays.
There has been much discussion within Red Sox Nation about what the team could do if Napoli isn’t re-signed. Hart’s name has been mentioned as an option while others feel that having a platoon of Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava would be strong enough to bridge the gap for one year.
Hart missed all of last season due to a knee injury, but he is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2014 season. Given his versatility of being able to play the outfield along with first base, he could make sense for the Red Sox, if their other and preferred options don’t pan out.
The two-time All-Star owns a career line of .276/.334/.491/.824 while hitting more than 25 home runs in each of the last three seasons he’s played. His best season came in 2010 when he belted 31 home runs and drove in 102 RBI while hitting .283 and securing an on-base percentage of .340.
It’s likely that Hart will be seeking a multi-year deal but teams may be reluctant to go much past a two-year offer given his recovery from knee surgery. His last two annual salaries were $9 and $10 MM respectively so he could be had on a one-year deal worth $7.5 – $8 million with a club option for a second-year.
He may not be the highest of priorities for the Red Sox, but he could be an intriguing option if Boston’s preferred list starts to dwindle and they haven’t secured a first basemen.