Things could get ugly between the Brewers and Corey Hart

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Corey Hart.jpgAt least if the words of team negotiator Teddy Werner are to be believed. The two sides will likely head to an arbitration hearing after the Brewers pulled their latest offer to outfielder Corey Hart, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“We made a final offer that we thought was a good offer,” said Werner.
“It’s significantly higher than the number we filed. They didn’t like
it. I said, ‘See you in Tampa in a couple of weeks.'”

Hart requested $4.8 million while the Brewers filed for $4.15 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last week. As Haudricourt notes, the Brewers have never went to an arbitration hearing under general manager Doug Melvin.

“Maybe they think we’re bluffing,” said Werner. “But we’re not.”

Hart is nowhere near as indispensable as a Tim Lincecum, but there’s a lot to lose for both sides if this goes to a hearing. The nature of such hearings can have long-lasting effects on the relationship between an organization and its player. Hart’s game has plenty of faults, and the Brewers will be sure to point them out if it comes to it.
 

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.