Pittsburgh has been searching for a right-handed hitter and it looks like they’ve settled on Corey Hart, signing him to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million guaranteed and $2.5 million in incentives.
Hart was one of the best right-handed power hitters in baseball for the Brewers from 2010-2012, batting .279 with an .857 OPS and 31, 26, and 30 homers. Then he missed all of 2013 with a knee injury and was a mess for the Mariners this past season, hitting .203 in 68 games.
As a cheap bounceback gamble not counted on for more than a part-time role–platoon with Pedro Alvarez at first base or with a lefty bat in the outfield–he makes sense and if healthy he should have plenty of upside at age 33.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?