Brad Hawpe Rumors
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.
The offseason has been full of surprises and, as Jon Heyman of SI.com points out, we know a relatively small amount about the top remaining free agents. It appears that the A’s, Angels and Rangers have some interest in Adrian Beltre, but that's about all we know about him and it's more than we know about Rafael Soriano. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors:
- The Padres are not likely to pursue Derrek Lee now that they've agreed to sign Orlando Hudson and seem close to acquiring Jason Bartlett (Twitter link). Jorge Cantu, Brad Hawpe and Troy Glaus are on the team's list of potential first basemen.
- Lee appears to be the Nationals' top target, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link).
- Brian Fuentes has drawn interest from the Orioles and others. The Red Sox and Rockies have been linked to the left-hander, but Boston is not currently focused on him, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- It's only a matter of time before the Phillies deal Joe Blanton, Heyman says.
- One GM told Heyman that the Royals are "asking for a lot more" than Travis Snider and Kyle Drabek for Zack Greinke. The Blue Jays don't intend to offer that pair up regardless.
- Felix Hernandez has the ten biggest markets on his no-trade list, apparently to give him maximum leverage, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
Brad Hawpe has multiple offers, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). The 31-year-old outfielder turned down the Rays' offer of arbitration last week. Hawpe batted .245/.338/.419 with the Rockies and Rays last year. His homer total fell for the third consecutive season; Hawpe hit nine homers and 21 doubles in 346 plate appearances. The Rockies are not interested in bringing Hawpe back to Denver at this point.
23 American League free agents were offered arbitration on November 23rd. Four of those - Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Victor Martinez, and Javier Vazquez - already have new contract agreements. Current free agent Kevin Gregg has chosen to decline. The remaining 18 AL free agents offered arbitration will have their decisions noted here and in our tracker.
- Cliff Lee (A) declined the Rangers' offer, as expected.
- Miguel Olivo will decline the Blue Jays' offer, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Jason Frasor (A) will accept the team's offer, according to Mike Wilner of the FAN 590. Scott Downs (A) will decline the Blue Jays' offer, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier that Jason Frasor would either sign a multiyear deal or accept arb (Twitter link).
- Adrian Beltre will decline arbitration from the Red Sox, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Felipe Lopez (B) will also decline an offer of arbitration, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford.
- Carl Pavano (A) has officially turned down arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter). Orlando Hudson (B) will decline the Twins' offer of arbitration, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune tweets of "strong indications" Jesse Crain (B) will also decline.
- A source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that Paul Konerko (A) will decline arbitration (Twitter link). J.J. Putz (B) declined arbitration from the White Sox, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter).
- Chad Qualls (B) and Carl Crawford (A) have declined arbitration, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter). Grant Balfour (A) turned down arbitration, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). As anticipated, Randy Choate (B) declined the Rays' offer, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. ESPN's Buster Olney predicted the decision earlier today. Rafael Soriano (A) will decline the Rays' arbitration offer, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Brad Hawpe (B) will decline the Rays' offer as well, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
- Frank Francisco (A) will accept the Rangers' offer, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll group them in this post. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 65 Type A/B free agents and their decisions in real-time, click here.
- The Blue Jays offered arbitration to Scott Downs (A) Jason Frasor (A) Kevin Gregg (B) Miguel Olivo (B), according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisolm (on Twitter).
- The Twins offered arbitration to Carl Pavano (A), Jesse Crain (B) and Orlando Hudson (B) and declined to offer arbitration to Matt Guerrier (A), Brian Fuentes (B) and Jon Rauch (B), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays offered arbitration to Grant Balfour (A), Carl Crawford (A), Rafael Soriano (A), Randy Choate (B), Brad Hawpe (B) and Chad Qualls (B), according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. They did not offer Dan Wheeler (A) or Carlos Pena (B) arbitration. It seems possible that Hawpe has agreed in advance to turn down arbitration.
- The Orioles won't offer arbitration to Koji Uehara (B) or Kevin Millwood (B), according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).
- The Angels declined to offer Hideki Matsui (B) arbitration, the team announced.
- The Rangers offered arbitration to Cliff Lee (A) and Frank Francisco (A), but not to Vladimir Guerrero (A) and Bengie Molina (A), according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
- The Yankees will offer arbitration to Javier Vazquez (B), but not to any of their other free agents, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday on Twitter. Andy Pettitte (A), Derek Jeter (A), Mariano Rivera (A), Lance Berkman (B) and Kerry Wood (B) were the team's other ranked free agents. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the Yankees would offer Vazquez arbitration and noted that the right-hander has agreed to reject the offer, a common gentleman's agreement that can take place with Type B free agents. Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger first reported on Twitter that the Yankees would not offer Jeter arbitration.
- The Red Sox offered arbitration to Adrian Beltre (A), Victor Martinez (A) and Felipe Lopez (B), but not to Mike Lowell (B) or Jason Varitek (B), according to the team.
- The White Sox offered arbitration to Paul Konerko (A) and J.J. Putz (B), but not to A.J. Pierzynski (A) or Manny Ramirez (A) according to the team (on Twitter).
- As expected, the Tigers announced that they will not offer arbitration to any of their free agents, including Scott Boras clients Magglio Ordonez (A), Johnny Damon (B), and Gerald Laird (B).
Owners of the two best records in baseball, both the Yankees and Rays aimed to acquire a bat for the season's stretch run as they battle for the AL East crown. The Yanks got their man at the trade deadline, acquiring Lance Berkman from the Astros for a pair of minor leaguers and cash. The Rays waited a little longer, grabbing Brad Hawpe off the scrap heap after the Rockies released him. Both players have slotted in as their team's primary designated hitter against righthanded pitching.
Since the trade, Berkman has hit .239/.314/.348 in 51 plate appearances while spending some time on the disabled list with an ankle injury. Hawpe has come to the plate just four times with Tampa since being recalled on September 1st, and has struck out all four times. Clearly, both players are capable of much better than what they've shown with their new teams so far, which brings us to today's poll question.
Who will perform better down the stretch: Berkman or Hawpe?
Links for Friday...
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says (via Twitter) that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti hasn't asked anyone to waive their no-trade clause, which would include Manny Ramirez.
- Lyle Overbay was pulled from tonight's game in the 6th inning, and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says there has been trade interest in the Jays' first baseman recently. However, Overbay left for precautionary reasons as he's been feeling under the weather according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter links).
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Brad Hawpe chose the Rays over the Red Sox was because there was "a perceived better fit in terms of guaranteed playing time."
- The Dodgers placed Ted Lilly on waivers today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported yesterday that the Dodgers aren't inclined to trade Lilly.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports that Marlins president David Samsom directed millions of dollars to owner Jeffrey Loria. Samson has said publicly that he did no such thing, but Passan contests that "what Samson said was so provably false that it was akin to a 3-year-old trying to hide his peas under a pile of mashed potatoes."
- Stephen Strasburg will probably need Tommy John surgery, according to the Nationals.
- Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says the idea of Joe Girardi leaving the Yankees for the Cubs this offseason is "pure insanity," since the Yankees will always provide Girardi with the chance to win.
- However, Cubs sources confirmed to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Cubs will pursue Girardi to manage, possibly as the leading candidate, if he is available.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein joked about the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez rumors last winter. As Brock shows, those rumors are a thing of the past for the first place Padres.
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.
On this date three years ago, the Astros fired manager Phil Garner and GM Tim Purpura. They were replaced on an interim basis by Cecil Cooper and Tal Smith, respectively. Cooper kept the job until he was fired last September, and the team is now under the direction of Brad Mills. Ed Wade took over the GM job about a month after Purpura was fired, and has held it since.
Here's a look at what's being written in the baseball corner of the web...
- Gaslamp Ball interviewed Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.
- Pirates Prospects spoke to a Certified Public Accountant about the Pirates' leaked financial records.
- Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. wonders if teams receiving revenue sharing money should earn a profit.
- Think Blue Crew analyzes Ryan Howard's swings and misses.
- SPANdemonium wonders what it would take to lock up Gio Gonzalez long-term.
- Rays Index revisits Andrew Friedman's biggest mistake.
- DRays Bay explains why Brad Hawpe makes sense for the Rays.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness thinks Ned Colletti should do the right thing and let Manny Ramirez go.
- Nolan Writin' looks at who the Rangers should call up on September 1st.
- Cubs Pack wonders who will play first base for the Cubbies next season.
- Yankeeist explores the idea of the Yankees signing Paul Konerko in the offseason.
- Walk Like A Sabermetrician suggests some ways to improve the waiver process.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
If Manny Ramirez doesn't end up with the White Sox, at least one other AL contender may have their eye on the veteran slugger. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Texas is "mulling the possibility" of approaching the Dodgers about Ramirez, though Sullivan quotes a Rangers official who said "it's unlikely" that Ramirez would end up in Arlington.
The Rangers' interest in Ramirez stems from their need for a big right-handed bat to complement the left-handed pop in their lineup. Whereas Ramirez has been projected as a DH in the American League to keep him healthy for September, he would see a lot of field time in Texas given Vladimir Guerrero's lock on the DH role. As Sullivan points out, Ramirez would hamper what has been a solid defensive outfield in Texas.
Tampa Bay is another AL team that has been rumored to have interest in Ramirez, but if Texas did want to make a move for the outfielder, the Rangers would have priority over the Rays since Tampa Bay is ahead in the standings.
Sullivan also reports that, since Texas' primary interest is in right-handed hitters, the club isn't looking at Brad Hawpe. We had heard that Texas, Tampa Bay and Boston all had some degree of interest in the former Rockie, and Hawpe should be free to be signed by any team today.