Rays Sign Brad Hawpe

The Rays officially signed Brad Hawpe and assigned him to Class A, according to the team. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement. The Red Sox, Rangers and Padres also showed some interest in the former Rockie, who cleared waivers yesterday. The Rockies designated the 31-year-old for assignment after he posted a .255/.343/.432 line in 300 plate appearances.

Hawpe can play first base, though he has spent most of his career in right field. The Rays probably won't have to use Hawpe on defense, since Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist have the outfield covered. If the Rays wait until September to call on Hawpe, they won't have to make any cuts, so Dan Johnson's job appears safe for now.

Hawpe and Joyce have a history of hitting right-handers better than they hit lefties, so Aybar should still see playing time against southpaws.


36 Responses to Rays Sign Brad Hawpe Leave a Reply

  1. Even if he is completely unable to return to his prior form and only maintains his 2009 slash line, he’s already the best DH they’ve had all year. If he bounces back even modestly, they’ve really pulled a rabbit out of a hat without having had to jump into the Manny quagmire. Win either way.

  2. joeytime 5 years ago

    Not a rays fan, but I like this move for them…Adds another decent threat to their lineup…Anytime you avoid manny at this stage in his career it’s a plus (with respect to mannys prior greatness)

  3. rottengazebo 5 years ago

    Good moves for the Rays, but they need to put Zobrist back at 2nd, let Matt Joyce be the full time right fielder, and use Hawpe to DH/give Pena days off at first.

  4. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Nie. So they released Pat Burrell and they just signed Pat Burrell.

    • Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

      Maybe. But he isn’t costing them $9 million.

      • wolf9309 5 years ago

        Pat Burrell still is though.

        • Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

          You blew past my point. He’s a non expensive Pat Burrell. He’ll cost them about 100k for the pro rated portion of this year and the 500k buyout. Less risk than the 2/$18m deal Burrell got.

          • Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

            2/$16

          • wolf9309 5 years ago

            No I wasn’t saying you were wrong. Just that I think it’s funny that now they’re paying a non-expensive Pat Burrell to essentially take the place of the expensive Pat Burrell they’re still paying.

    • BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

      Brad Hawpe is a better all-around hitter than Pat Burrell.

      In terms of fielding, yeah, pretty true.

      • wolf9309 5 years ago

        check out their stats for the year. Eerily similar, but Burrell has had more power this year (and that’s with Hawpe playing in Coors).
        Admittedly, Burrell was doing quite a lot worse before moving to San Francisco. Don’t know if that’s because he wasn’t comfortable DHing or if the AL is just not the place for him…

        • BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

          I meant in general. Burrell has the power, but Hawpe can get hits consistently.

          Burrell just works better in the NL. /shrug

        • malcolmec 5 years ago

          Burrell has said that he doesn’t like being a DH. He was a first baseman in the minor leagues, and I wonder if someone could reteach him to play third. It would solve the whole Pat-Burrell-has-no-outfield-range problem.

  5. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Whatever happened to Hank Blalock after the Rays released him? he would have been more use as a DH than this guy.

  6. wazzzzzzzzzzzup3 5 years ago

    Yay

  7. wazzzzzzzzzzzup3 5 years ago

    Hawpe is a big upgrade over Burrell, Blalock, and Johnson. Very nice pickup by Andrew Friedman. Shrewd move that will payoff for this team down the stretch

  8. Nice move for the Rays…I bet they would have wanted Damon over him though to be their DH….If they were able to get someone like Dunn, they would have been the AL Champs (no doubt).

  9. philly_red 5 years ago

    This is a great move by the Rays, if only because they got someone NOT named Manny Ramirez. They’ll pay the league minimum for Hawpe, who can play the outfield or first, carries no drama/baggage, and provides a potential lefty power bat and can walk. I do, however, hope Matt Joyce continues to play every day.

  10. solid low cost, potential high return short-term investment ….. if Rocco continues to do well on his current stint we’ll have added solid LH and RH bats to the lineup

  11. Class A?

    • No kidding… Class A? He’s not coming off an injury, is he?

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      I suspect that he’s doing something similar to Roger Clemens, except Hawpe isn’t requesting millions, isn’t on steroids, or a douchebag.

      • and probably not going to federal prison

        • johnsilver 5 years ago

          Rays are kind of used to criminals.. They drafted and tolerated Elijah Dukes during many of his escapades.

  12. progmatinee 5 years ago

    he’s not hurt (though his ribs may be sore from an injury early in the year) i’m sure he’s just there for a couple of days until call ups so that he gets some ABs without disrupting the AA and AAA rosters.

  13. Didn’t realize Hawpe had such a respectable slash line.

    That .343 OBP is good for cheap. Same with that slugging.

    So his average is down, he’s still being good. Can’t believe no one wanted him.

    • malcolmec 5 years ago

      I agree. .343/.432 are both roughly average for a major league player. He must either be really, really bad in the field or a terrible clubhouse presence for the Rockies to release him…

  14. budman3 5 years ago

    Rays needed a RH bat with some pop and production(especially at the DH spot). They’ve gone through Burrell, have had lefty after lefty brought in, Dan Johnson, Blaylock, used Aybar, Joyce with varying success but Friedman still doesn’t get it.

    So he’ll roll the dice with Rocco Baldelli.. Good Luck.

  15. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    At some point this season, the Rays have probably had about 5 Brad Hawpe’s, so that means the Rays are paying 5 times the league minimum…Yes?

  16. dc21892 5 years ago

    That’s why I wanted the Red Sox to get in on this too. If it doesn’t work out then oh well, you move on.

  17. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    The difference being, the Rays adding him as a DH isn’t going to cost anyone useful any playing time. If the Red Sox signed Hawpe, they’d have to cut playing time to one of four or five players on their roster who have outperformed him this season.

    The money’s not a concern, it’s the fact that he’s not a definitive upgrade anywhere on the Sox. Honestly, they have a guy or two in the minors who could probably come up and be of just as much use as Hawpe could. This move makes perfect sense for the Rays, but it’d be kind of a making a move for the sake of making a move for the Sox.

  18. dc21892 5 years ago

    First base? I know he doesn’t have too much time there in his career but Colorado thought about it before and so did other teams. I’m not talking about for the outfield, but simply putting him at first. Sure he’d have to learn the position but he could have platooned with Lowell.

  19. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Putting him at first still means the Sox need to send someone down or cut someone. It’s not worth the trouble to fill a spot that’s really not likely to see an improvement. Sure, it’s a low risk move, but there’s still not much of a point for the Sox other than to keep him from the Rays.

  20. wolf9309 5 years ago

    that’s true, but hasn’t been the case this year and is really besides the point of the post anyways.

  21. Ah, that makes sense on why they released him, then.

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