2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Corey Hart

Mark Hirsch

If the Mets think he can play the outfield, he's certainly worth a look.

Corey Hart is the type of inexpensive bat that the Mets would probably love to plug into a corner outfield spot for next season, but there are a couple of problems with that notion. First of all, Hart had surgery on both knees last season and thus is inherently risky. Mets fans probably wouldn't like it if the team signed a player that could spend a lot of time on the disabled list.

Another problem with Hart—also related to his knees—is that we don't know how effective he'll be on defense. Hart will be 32 years old on Opening Day, and he never graded highly as a right fielder. Add in a pair of surgeries, and there's a chance that Hart is only a slight improvement over Lucas Duda in the outfield. The good news is that Hart hits well enough to be considered an option at first base, but the Mets already have a logjam there.

The cost

Hart made $10 million on the disabled list last season, so he could probably be had for a little less than that on a one-year deal, maybe even a lot less than that if nobody thinks he can play the outfield. Let's say $5 million for one year plus incentives. That would be a nice price for a corner outfielder who has an OPS above .800 from 2010 through 2012, but once again, Hart may not really be a corner outfielder anymore.

The fit

As a right or left fielder, Hart fits in with the Mets very well. There is a starting spot available on either side of center fielder Juan Lagares. However, first base is more complicated. It's being thrown around that the Mets may want to trade Ike Davis to open up first base for Lucas Duda. If that happens, Hart would be a nice platoon buddy because of his tendency to mash the lefties that can frustrate Duda. The only issue with the "Hart as first baseman" plan is that there would still be two big holes in the outfield to fill.

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