Free agent Corey Hart is drawing interest from the Brewers, Rockies, Red Sox, Rays and others, according to his interview with Jim Bowden of SiriusXM. As previously reported, the Mets and Giants also have shown preliminary interest in Hart.
Hart, who turns 32 in March, missed the entire 2013 season after surgeries on both knees. Because of his previous success with the Brewers, the versatile right fielder/first baseman is one of the most interesting names on the free agent market, and is likely to receive a high-value one-year deal from a contending team this winter.
As Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported last week, Hart does not rank among the Mets' top free agent targets, and the team is not close to signing him. Hart has expressed a willingness to take a hometown discount to stay in Milwaukee, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported at the end of the season.
"I told them I would be very generous to stay here. I wouldn’t sit there and ask for anything outlandish. I’d definitely take a discount to stay here because I think I owe it to them to stay here and be a cheaper player," Hart said. "Nobody wants to play for free but I basically sat there and watched all season. I owe it to them and the fans to come back at a cheaper price."
The San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman reported last week that the Giants were checking in on Hart's health, but Schulman noted today that he is "more of a question than an answer" for the team at this point. The Rockies and Rays are looking into almost every first baseman on the market, and the Red Sox are drawing contingency plans in case Mike Napoli signs elsewhere.