Quick Hits: Millwood, Bautista, Hawkins

Here are some items of note for Feb. 3, 2011, the day on which former AL Rookie of the Year and MVP Fred Lynn turned 59.

  • The Indians are interested in free-agent righty Kevin Millwood, tweets Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer, but not at the current asking price of one year, $4-5MM. Cleveland is among the handful of potential Millwood suitors enumerated by Ben Nicholson-Smith earlier on Thursday. The Yankees are part of the group, too, and it stands to reason that Andy Pettitte's retirement might strengthen their interest, writes Chris Bahr of the Sporting News.
  • The Red Sox's interest in trading for Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is telling because it indicates there is a belief among baseball executives and talent evaluators that Bautista's monstrous 54-homer campaign in 2010 was not a fluke, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. The Red Sox eventually got their man when they signed free-agent outfielder Carl Crawford, so Bautista-to-Boston is obviously off, notes Morosi, but it bodes well for Bautista in his final season before hitting free agency.
  • Brewers reliever LaTroy Hawkins said that his surgically repaired shoulder feels good and that he'll compete for a spot in Milwaukee's bullpen, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Hawkins signed a two-year, $7.5MM deal with Milwaukee prior to last season but pitched in just 18 games before being lost to an injured labrum and rotator cuff. Hawkins has a guaranteed contract, so the Brewers will surely want him to be at full strength and pitching well, but it bears watching how they handle him if he struggles with injury and/or ineffectiveness.

62 Responses to Quick Hits: Millwood, Bautista, Hawkins Leave a Reply

  1. Are we that Boston-centric that it bodes well for a player simply because the Red Sox are interested?

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      Are you that Boston-centric that any time the Red Sox are mentioned you believe the media is giving them special treatment?

      Could it not be possible since a rival GM made an offer for a player with a surprising breakout that other teams as well may think the surprising breakout was not a fluke? No, no, you’re right, it must be that pesky east coast bias.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      i hate boston, but dude, lets get real

    • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

      Yes. Yes we are.

    • quintjs 4 years ago

      It doesn’t matter how much you like or hate the Red Sox, the Red Sox are one of the better runs teams in baseball, that is a fact. So if they are interested it shows that some smart people are buying Bautista which is good for his value.

      If it was the Royals interested in trading for Bautista it wouldn’t get the same attention because well, the Royals.. Jeff Francoeur… you know…

    • MiltonMan 4 years ago

      I agree, Matt- the article states that simply because Boston is interested, “executives and evaluators” have fallen in line with that opinion…..bit of a stretch, IMO- and I’m a Jays fan.

      Good luck to ANY exec (and arbitrator! LOL) who can determine whether Bautista is for real, at this point. He could be the biggest fluke in MLB history- and T.O. doesn’t need another Vernon Wells contract, if he is.

  2. Dave_Gershman 4 years ago

    LaTroy is one of my favorite pitchers in baseball. I just spoke to Jim Breen a few days ago, and apparently Hawkins might not be at full strehgth until april or may. However, imagine a healthy Hawkins, Braddock, and Axford? wow.

    • EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

      Really? He’s one of your favorites? He’s nothing really special. Not that interesting either. Do you go out for a beer with him every weekend?

      Nothing wrong with that of course. Just curious as to if there is a special reason for him being one of your favorites

      • Dave_Gershman 4 years ago

        I don’t go out for a beer with him every weekend. Usually just on tuesdays.

        • EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

          Awesome1 I hang out with Brian Wilson and Rafael Soriano on Fridays. Pretty good stuff.

          • Dave_Gershman 4 years ago

            Can you at least tell them I said hi? Tell Brian I said “Let’s rage!”

          • I like to start bar fights with F-Rod (I mean K-Rod…)

          • Chair tossing with Frank Francisco on Fridays!!@!

      • Former top prospect turned into an effective reliever with a long career. You could do worse.

        • EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

          I’m not debating that. I was just curious as to why he was his favorite is all.

    • OOOH! Latoya Hawkins! My favorite punching bag. Glen Allen Hill says HI, BTW.

  3. EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

    I’m sure that with Pettitte gone the Yanks pretty much have to get this guy. He may not prove to have much more of an upside that the already signed Garcia and Colon, but he pitched 190 innings last year, and has been a workhorse for a long time now. Garcia and Colon have been dealing with arm issues for years now, and the Yanks would be lucky to get a hundred innings from either of them.

  4. Since_77 4 years ago

    If any team had a choice would choose a guy who can hit 50 homers than steal 50 bases.
    Crawford is a good player but when Bautista is in the batter’s box he is already in scoring position.

    • where would u put youk, dh platoon with papi??? i dont think so…

      • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

        Drew doesn’t need to play. Bautista is better in Right anyway.

        • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

          I’d like to see him try to play right field in Fenway Park for 81 games. Drew is really underrated, you know…

          • You're Killing Me Smalls 4 years ago

            I agree. I get tired of people calling J.D., Nancy all the time, and saying he cant man his position, where he in facts does it very well.

          • woadude 4 years ago

            They call him Nancy because he is always complaining something hurts, if he has a bruise or a hang nail he recommends he goes on the 15 DL. It has nothing to do with his fielding, or the fact he is mediocre at the plate.

          • vtadave 4 years ago

            True on the D, but his other nick name isn’t J.D.L Drew for nothing.

          • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

            As a Dodgers fan, I hate JD Drew. So he may be good. But I don’t want him.

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      One costs an expensive contract, the other would cost probably the same number of prospects that it took to get Gonzalez plus an expensive contract to hold onto him for more than one year. Add to that one is considered a top defender and the other considered a lousy defender.

      Just saying, decision not exactly black and white.

      • pastlives 4 years ago

        Bautista’s really not a bad RF-er, and his arm is ridiculous

      • grownice 4 years ago

        Lousy defender? uzr should be takin with a grain of salt. He’s better then a lousy defender, average range at least with a plus plus arm.

  5. Dylan 4 years ago

    If the Jays are out of it by the AS break, I’m sure they will get a nice return for him. Paging RAJr.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      I’m sure reaggins would be happy to give up trout for bautistsa

      • Since_77 4 years ago

        Angels have a lot of outfielders/DH types but sounds like a good trade.

    • Since_77 4 years ago

      I agree. Next year if hit 30 to 35 homeruns, he going to get paid better than Jason Werth. Because he a better player than Werth. I don’t think the Blue Jays are going to be able to keep him.

      He may not be the best defender at any one position but he can also play 3B, 1b or rf.
      That’s very helpful to any team.

      • grownice 4 years ago

        Not able to keep him? why because there payroll is as low as its been in a while with an owner who will potentially go up to 100-150 without blinking? its very possible they extend him , which they should if he puts up another 30+ hr season… its not like the Jays have any great outfield prospects in the wings at the moment.

      • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

        I highly doubt he surpasses Werth’s deal if he hits 35 home runs next season…

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

          Agreed. Production offensively and defensively gets you paid more than versatility. Werth had a 5 WAR season from being an all around player (UZR was down in 2010). If Bautista hit 35 home runs in 2010 and the rest of his offensive stats were adjusted accordingly, I doubt he’d even be a 5 WAR player.

          Before someone tries to use the “he had a .233 BABIP” argument, BABIP drops when you hit more fly balls.

          I’m a Jays fan so it’s not like I’m biased against him, but some times you gotta tell it like it is. If he puts up another .950+ OPS and OPS+ of 140+ and gets his UZR back to average, then I can see someone offering a Werth-like contract if he hits free agency.

      • Andy Mc 4 years ago

        he can play any position besides C. he was even working out at SS in ST 2009 (although he wouldn’t be very good there). he played some CF for the jays, and i thought he looked fine there. he has played 2B in the past as well, with other teams, IIRC.

      • woadude 4 years ago

        Just give him Vernon Wells’ money and they can keep him, don’t be foolish.

  6. daveypinstripes 4 years ago

    Why does the fact the Red Sox wanted to trade for Bautista “bode well” for him? He’s not a free agent until AFTER 2011 when we will know what kind of hitter he really is. Nobody’s giving him an extension before the season starts.

    • grownice 4 years ago

      You cant rule out Jay’s giving an extension untill he finally goes to arb.

  7. bluejaysstatsgeek 4 years ago

    I sense that Bautista’s all-pull power would play extremely well in Fenway. He could easily hit 40 HRs and potentially set a record for doubles because of the Green Monster.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      i actually think he’d do worse there. His HR are mostly linedrive-like with a low trajectory. I don’t think as much balls would clear the monster

      • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

        Well home run numbers would definitely decrease in Fenway but I’d venture a guess that his slugging percentage would be something similar. Line drives that would have been caught near the wall would be a double in Fenway. Just speculation.

    • JoeSeadog 4 years ago

      We heard Tony Armas would become Ralph Kiner in Boston, and although he had a couple great Homer and RBI seasons in Fenway, he only hit .218 his first year there and the Doubles and Home Runs balls that would be caught in most parks never materialized. He hit .260 the next couple years. and was released at 33 after his 4th year there. It takes a disciplined hitter not to change his swing when he moves into Fenway. One year does not a career make, but Bautista looks more and more like the real thing the more I see him. He could be in for a monster payday after a big walk year.

    • 59 AB, 7 HR at Fenway the last 2 seasons. His only other hits were 8 singles though. Probably hit 50 HR but definitely no doubles record.

  8. danthebaseballman 4 years ago

    Wow, the Red Sox made a push for Bautista.

  9. RAWagman 4 years ago

    Ran a little quick-and-dirty study on Bautista in my new blog. Re-posted here:
    And now for a chart looking at the career of the aforementioned Jose Bautista, which may prove that his incredible power of 2010 was real, previously lurking in the shadows of a flawed approach at the plate. In the world of three true outcomes (K, BB, HR), many often associate power and strikeouts to the all-or-nothing approach. Swing through the ball, or peel the leather right off. Let’s focus on just strikeouts and homers, looking at how Bautista fared in each since his first season with regular playing time, 2006.
    Year AB HR K HR % K% HR%+K%
    2006 400 16 110 4% 27.5% 31.5%
    2007 532 15 101 2.8% 19% 21.8%
    2008 370 15 91 4.1% 24.6% 28.6%
    2009 336 13 85 3.9% 25.3% 29.2%
    2010 569 54 116 9.5% 20.4% 29.9%
    Totals 2207 113 503 5.1% 22.8% 27.9%
    Yes – the homers of 2010 stick out, but in this chart, Bautista’s outlier year was not 2010, but 2007, when he took a more cautious approach to hitting and made ‘in-play’ contact 78.2% of the time, instead of his usual range down between 71.4-68.5%. Last year was as good as it was for Bautista not because he turned doubles into home runs (a common occurrence for young, developing sluggers), but rather, that he turned strikeouts into souvenirs. How often does that happen? I don’t know, but if there is the demand, I can do similar studies to others who have rapidly increased their home run totals year over year.

  10. JDortmunder 4 years ago

    Most Dominicans have had experience with PED’s at some point. A third of their top 17yo’s were prevented from signing MLB teams for testing positive in ”10. I’m not saying Bautista currently is taking anything but I think it’s silly to assume he is and always has been clean.

    That said I buy into his swing improvement. The fact that apparently none of his HR’s went to the Op. field is telling. He was also playing with a hernia last season.

    The RS could still be interested at the deadline or more likely after the season. They need rh power and are losing Drew/Ortiz. If he gets to Nov. FA I think a lot of teams will want a guy in his prime with like a .990 OPS and some versatility.

  11. Less than ten of his HR were cheap. One opposite field. One inside the park. And a couple that Bo Jackson might have robbed.

    If there is some PED out there that is better than the testing, then Jose Bautista wouldn’t be the only one using. I do think some of the pitching numbers were out of line last year, and seeing Manny get caught masking but not caught using was very curious. The problem is still very widespread if a “journeyman” can suddenly put up a year like ARod was putting up when he was busted. Either way, Bautista had a very impressive season and will likely prove many doubters wrong in 2011.

  12. Guest 4 years ago

    I don’t think Bautista’s 54-homer campaign in 2010 was a fluke either, he is going to become a household name in the next couple seasons and likely sign a ridiculous contract.

  13. bautista’s uzr in the outfield was a solid 3.1 in 2009 and was also good with the pirates back in ’07, so its probably premature to call him a bad outfielder cause of a partial season in right last year. even over a full season uzr sometimes does not tell the whole story. it needs bigger sample sizes.

    eyeballing him, he seems to have average range, a very good arm, and doesnt make too many errors or bad reads. that makes him decent imo

    i agree with your comment about WAR tho

  14. BoSoxSam 4 years ago

    Which still keeps him in maybe the top 7-8, cause while you’re right, he rarely loses huge chunks of the year. 145-150 games isn’t great, but its not terrible either.

  15. This has nothing to do with PED’s. He doesn’t have secret access that nobody else has. Superior players would have access to better PED’s than a guy like Bautista if there is a type of PED available that players can use without getting busted for. Bautista has never even had his name in a real rumour despite the current testing program, I think you’re reaching pretty hard if you think Bautista is using something.

    In 2008, Bautista was on his way to about 20 HR season. He started losing playing time, and ended up in Toronto where he needed to earn a spot.

    In 2009, Bautista still didn’t have a spot yet in Toronto. It’s hard to hit dingers when you don’t get to play much. Lucky for him, the Jays dropped Alex Rios and opened up a spot for Bautista to get a full time look. He responded with 10 HR in September. Definitely earned himself a spot for 2010. Not unreasonable to think Bautista could’ve hit 25 HR on the season if he had a full time job the whole time.

    In 2010, nobody predicted Bautista to do anything though, because 2009 looked so horrible on paper. But to anybody who noticed what he did in September of 2009, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a prediction of 30 HR in 2010. Hitting over 50 was like the perfect storm, of a batter being in the zone, and pitchers failing to believe that he is for real. He kept getting pitches to pull all season long, and his confidence grew with every home run. Number 50 off Felix to win a game 1-0, nothing to it.

    There is no doubt in my mind that given a healthy 2011, Jose Bautista can land in the 30-35 HR range. With or without his secret PED access.

    I’d even say as high as 40 HR for 2011 if I was confident enough with Lind or Snider or worse protecting him in the lineup. Bautista did start mashing low in the lineup and then moved up to 3rd though, so it’s not like it is crucial. So I guess I really would put him in the 30-40 HR range. Pretty vague, but it’s gotta be higher than most people that aren’t related to him… Go Jays!

  16. grownice 4 years ago

    Bahaha PEDs

  17. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    So Ped’s can turn a 16 HR hitter into a 54 HR hitter without any significant changes to the players body?

    Good to know, thats some serious magic juice right there..

    or you could be completely ignorant on the subject, but still throw out careless and unfair accusations…

    hmmm I’m going to go with the second reasoning.

  18. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Righhhhhtttttttt… clearly you are familiar with sesame street because your reasoning is pre school at best.

    Whats sad is that players now how have to be subject to stupid accusations just because a couple juice heads prior to them we’re dumb enough to cheat.. So now instead of applauding success stories, we point the finger at them and call them steroid users.. What a great game of baseball..

    “Don’t even THINK about improving, or else we’ll call you a cheater”

    Not only that, but you people live in a dream world to think that PEDs make a 40 hr/ difference.. Barry Bonds, Mark Mcguire, Arod, etc we’re ALREADY good HR hitters..

    It didn’t take a bunch of John Mcdonalds and turn them in to 50+ HR hitters. Its not magic potion or a cheat for MLB2k11.

    Bautista was tested 4 times last year, each one showing nothing. yet people like you can’t wrap your head around improvements, hard work, new form, technique etc.. When in actuality, Cito told Jbau to aim for the bottom half of the ball and to uppercut swing a bit more.. This lead to him hitting hitting RHP better (less ground balls), his FB% went up as did his FB/HR %..

    Simpletons resort to the steroid accusation

  19. 54 home runs in 2010 was ridiculous. I agree. But resorting to steroids as the excuse is just faulty logic. Especially when you look at his career path with such a narrow view. Looking at the whole picture, there is no reason to think he isn’t a 35 HR player who had a career season. Bautista is definitely not a 15 HR player just because 4 of 5 seasons ended up in that range.

    Over half of his 2009 at bats were as a part time player. Even the best of hitters will struggle without regular at bats. Once Bautista got a rhythm, he became a power threat. If you look at the monthly splits, you can’t deny that he would have topped 25 HR that season with full playing time.

    In 2008, Bautista was getting 3/4 playing time and had 12 HR half way through the season, then he went to the bench, and then to Toronto’s bench. No reason to think he couldn’t have been a 20 HR hitter at this time.

    That isn’t even impressive for a player of his age, but you have to consider his minor league development when you are trying to explain the late peak. Instead of moving up to AA or AAA as a prospect, Bautista became a victim of the Rule 5 draft and ended up bouncing between Baltimore, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and back to Pittsburgh, and ultimately lost a year of development. After an average year at AAA back in Pittsburgh, the Pirates gave Bautista a September callup and let him sit on the bench. The following year they threw Bautista into the third base job after a brief start in AAA. He showed power but didn’t progress fast enough for the Pirates, so they brought in Andy Laroche. Pittsburgh was burned by being disappointed with a player that they failed to develop properly. The raw power caused them to rush him, and caused them to keep him up even when he failed to show improvement. It even caused them to shop him to a team that wanted to pay a bench player $2.4M. Gamble paid off for the Jays though.

    Bautista’s career is a lot like Johan Santana’s or David Ortiz’s, where they just didn’t develop fast enough initially but once they earned roles in new organizations, they blossomed.

  20. bautista always had power, when the jays first acquired him years ago i remarked that he hit the highest pop flies of anyone i’d ever seen. he was one of those guys for whom the ball just jumped off the bat. the only difference last year was he started squaring the ball up much better and had infinitely better strike zone recognition.

    in case you havent noticed, bautista does not look inhumanly buff like bonds or mcgwire, nor has his body changed in any way since he came to the jays. he is 6ft 195lbs, one of the smallest HR hitters in the league. there is no physical evidence whatsoever that he took PED’s. purely looking at numbers and insinuating that he took something to boost his performance would get you laughed out of a courtroom. it is not even circumstantial evidence. PED’s do not help you hit the ball, they help you hit it further when you do hit it (help you rebound from injury etc, etc.). bautista’s problem in the past was simply hitting the ball consistently. the power was always there; his timing, plate discipline and obviously his confidence were not.

  21. You sir, or just a contrarian trying to stir up sh!t. You are aware that HGH more so than your average steroid actually causes a massive change in the structure of the body? Case in point, Barry Bonds prior to getting started with the stuff had a bidy tye very similar to that of Bautista. Afterwards, came the man boobs and arms the size of the average thigh. Most Steroids on the other hand actually do not make you bigger. They improve your stamina. If you choose to use that in the form of jogging longer, or other aerobic excercise, you will actually become thinner and more ripped. Please dont think you know what you are talking about just because you have heard of HGH and think you know what it does to someone. Yes it is not currently tested for by MLB. But NO, there is no way based on the body type in 2010 versus the body type in 2006 that Joey Bats was on HGH. Do some research on the subject and get back to me.

  22. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    What are you talking about


    As for HGH, you might wanna do some research on it. It does this weird thing, where it makes you grow, you know that is what the G in HGH stands for..

    Bautista hasn’t pulled a Barry Bonds, he isn’t twice his size, in fact the only that thats changed about bautista is his awesome beard and the number of ignorant fans who can’t foresee anyone overcoming adversity and improving, because they are simple minds that cant function properly..

    You have no case whatsoever, you just point to his increase in production as a claim that he’s done steroids.. geeze.. get off this website and go become a lawyer.

  23. woadude 4 years ago

    HGH doesn’t do anything but make you heal faster, and it doesn’t give you an undodly gift to hit a baseball or trust me, I would of been a MLB star and admitted to cheating and agree that all my records are a sham and my butt would be sitting of MILLIONS of dollars, ok? simple as that you still need to hit the ball and HGH has nothing to do with hitting a ball.

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