Padres Agree To Sign Brad Hawpe

JANUARY 3RD: Hawpe's deal is worth $3MM guaranteed, tweets Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press.  The 31-year-old will earn $2MM in '11 with a $6MM mutual option for '12 that can instead be bought out for $1MM.

DECEMBER 24th: The Padres have reached an agreement with Brad Hawpe on a one-year deal according to Bernie Wilson of the AP (via The Miami Herald). The deal is pending a physical. He is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.

Hawpe, 31, will replace the departed Adrian Gonzalez at first base even though he has just 72 innings of experience at the position in the big leagues. He's a .279/.373/.490 career hitter with at least 22 homers per year from 2006 through 2009. In close to 1,600 plate appearances away from Coors Field, Hawpe is a .271/.367/.467 career hitter. The Padres will likely want to bring in a platoon partner for the lefty swinging Hawpe, who is a .245/.322/.438 career hitter against southpaws.

A quad strain cost Hawpe a little more than two weeks early in the 2010 season, and a rib issue cost him a few days in June. The Rockies cut ties with him in August, and the Rays picked him up off the scrap heap. The Padres also had interest in signing him before Tampa swooped in. Hawpe didn't do much for the Rays on the field (.179/.304/.333 in 46 plate appearances), but he will bring them a supplemental first round pick as a Type-B free agent. San Diego will not have to surrender a pick for the signing.