Teammates applaud Hart’s extension
CHICAGO — As the Brewers signed right fielder Corey Hart to a three-year extension on Monday, they solidified the corner-outfield spots through at least the 2013 season.
Left fielder Ryan Braun, who’s signed through the 2015 season, was happy for Hart.
“It’s exciting, I’m excited for him. He’s had to overcome a lot,” Braun said. “I think it’s just a sign of his character and his perseverance. I think he’s a great teammate and he’s a great player. He’s a great person to have as one of your core guys to build around for the franchise.”
Drafted by Milwaukee in the 11th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, the 28-year-old Hart is the longest-tenured player in the organization.
Right up there with Hart is left-handed starter Manny Parra, who was drafted in the 26th round in 2001. Having grown close to Hart over the years, Parra was happy to see the Brewers sign him long term.
“I think after people were doubting what he was able to do, it’s great,” Parra said. “Last year was a below-par year for what he’s capable of doing, and he’s proving that this year. For him to redeem himself like that is great.”
Hart’s teammates were especially happy for him considering those circumstances, as Hart struggled in 2009 and in Spring Training this season, eventually leading to his name being left of the All-Star ballot and out of the Opening Day starting lineup.
“Anything could have happened in Spring Training,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha, referring to the uncertainty surrounding Hart at the time. “Now he’s put himself in a position to get this contract.”