Corey Hart will head into free agency having missed the entire season following knee surgeries and numerous setbacks. Meanwhile, the Brewers have gotten horrendous production at first base in his absence. So will Milwaukee try to bring back Hart to fill the position next season?
“We haven’t even begun to consider it yet,” assistant general manager Gord Ash told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. “As we all know, there’s plenty of time.”
For now Hart is expected to be ready for spring training, but then again no one thought he’d miss the whole first half of this year, let alone the entire season. Hart topped an .840 OPS in each of the previous three seasons, including last year when he hit .270 with 30 homers while playing 149 games. He’s finishing up a three-year, $26.5 million deal.
Under normal circumstances the Brewers could make a qualifying offer to Hart and receive draft pick compensation if he signed elsewhere, but as McCalvy notes he’d likely just accept the one-year, $14 million contract that comes attached and stick Milwaukee with a too-big bill considering the health uncertainty.
Though he has only accumulated just over two years of service time in the major leagues, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas can become a free agent after the 2019 season due to language in his current two-year, $15.5 million contract. He is open to signing a contract extension with the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Mikolas said, “It’s something that the Cardinals and my agency have to work out – if the numbers work out and everything turns out to be it’s absolutely something that could happen.” His agent, from Octagon, has had discussions with the Cardinals about a framework for an extension.
Mikolas, 30, spent the 2015-17 seasons pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League. He had great results, which he was able to leverage into a contract back in the U.S. Last season, his first in the majors since 2014, he finished sixth in NL Cy Young balloting and earned a spot on the NL All-Star roster. The right-hander went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 146/29 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings.
This coming season, Mikolas will be part of a starting rotation that also includes Carlos Martínez, Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright.