New York Mets News

Mets Eyeing Corey Hart….Not Much Else

By Adam Garnett

As anticipated, it is that other team with the interlocking NY on its cap making the most noise at the Winter Meetings. As is being reported, well, just about everywhere, Curtis Granderson is just about on his way to the Yankees in a three-team blockbuster deal with Arizona and Detroit.

The Mets? Well….Omar reportedly has had a lot of meetings with a lot of team and player representatives and it seems as if everything I read from the likes of Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman points toward the Mets not being heavy players for anyone right now. They like Randy Wolf, but it looks like the Brewers are much hotter for the steady lefty starter. They like Joel Piniero, but the fact that he is seeking a four-year deal is scaring the Mets off. They checked in on John Lackey and Roy Halladay, but from all indication, neither one really wants to come to New York, well at least on the National League side of things. The list of uninspiring news goes on and on.

One rumor (beyond the “Mets trying to deal Luis Castillo” and “Mets want Bengie Molina” snoozers) that actually caught my eye was the idea of a John Maine-Corey Hart swap between the Mets and Brewers. As first reported by Joel Sherman in the NY Post, the two sides are exploring a potential exchange of underachieving players, but the Mets would need to sign or trade for another starting pitcher before a deal could get done.

I’ve seen Hart play a bit and he has been pretty impressive at times, but his production tailed off considerably last season from the prior two years. After hitting .295/24 HR/81 RBI in 2007 and following that up in 2008 with a .265/20 HR/91 RBI season, Hart swooned in 2009 hitting just .260/12 HR/48 RBI. He has upside, but I think if the Mets did this deal it would be an abject disaster.

John Maine clearly was not fully healthy last season after coming off shoulder surgery and has shown the ability to be a solid #3 starter in this league. I think he is primed to duplicate the success of his 15-win 2007 campaign. To deal him away for a potential starting LF (I argue Angel Pagan is just as good an option, if not better than Hart) would be a huge mistake by Omar. This team needs to stockpile arms, not trade them away for decent right-handed outfield bats.