There's been some much-ballyhooed scuttlebutt on the Interwebs about the Brewers trading Jon Hart, with the most recent suggestion being a trade to Atlanta for Javier Vasquez. Perhaps not surprisingly, there's been a range of reactions to the thought of trading Hart, from "Fuck and yes, sign me up!" to "Is that really all we can get for a guy who was an All-Star last year?" to "Oh no you di'int, nobody's taking my man."
More and more, I find myself in the first category. Admittedly, when I was president of the Corey Hart "I Am A MAN" Club, I would have found such talk blasphemous. But now, it's starting to look an awful lot like we've got another Scott Podsednik on our hands.
You remember Scotty Po's absurd 2003 line, right? .314/.379/.443, with an OPS+ of 116. Then there was the nosedive the following year: .244/.313/.364, with a putrid OPS+ of 75.
In 2007, Jon Hart went 295/.353/.539, for a tasty OPS+ of 126. Then there was the kick-in-the-dick season of '08: .268/.300 (seriously -- it pisses me off just to type that)/.459, with his OPS+ nosediving to a below-league-average 96. And, of course, this year's been more of the same, with Jon putting up a .249/.320/.420 line and an OPS+ of 95 through half-a-season.
Now, Brewers fans, in general, appeared to be on board when Podsednik got dealt to the Chi Sox, but there seems to be more resistance to the idea of trading Hart. I see three reasons (apart from the fact that Podsednik pissed off a lot of boyfriends by fucking everything that wasn't nailed down) -- tell me if you think there are more (or if you think people are OK with trading Hart):
(1) Even on the heels of that stinkbomb '04 season, Podsednik still netted Carlos Lee in a trade, when all El Caballo did in '04 was put up a .305/.366/.525 line, with 31 bombs and an OPS+ of 127. Any way you slice it, that's a hell of a get in exchange for a dude who's basically the white version of Tony Gwynn, Jr. (though, in fairness to Jr., he's a good deal better with the glove than Podsedik ever was). Thus, the question (as raised above): Why can't we get more for Hart?
(2) Podsednik, in his rookie year, was 27. Hart, in his rookie year, was 24. Right or wrong, people seem to believe that there's still a chance that, based on his age, Hart has time to develop into a more well-rounded player.
(3) Podsednik was plucked off the junk pile, while Hart's homegrown -- and was an 11th round, high school pick, at that. Having not developed our own talent for so long, maybe there's an inclination to hang on to a guy we actually managed to turn into a serviceable ballplayer.
So, with that, two questions: do you want to trade Hart? And, if not, why not?