LaTroy Hawkins Rumors

Angels Reach Agreement With LaTroy Hawkins

The Angels and LaTroy Hawkins have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. Hawkins will earn $3MM in the deal, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports.

The Angels had been pursuing bullpen help aggressively for weeks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter), and figure to use Hawkins as a setup man in front of closer Jordan Walden. The Angels turned their attention to Hawkins after unsuccessfully trying to acquire Ramon Ramirez from the Giants, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides were nearing an agreement.


Angels Close To Deal With LaTroy Hawkins

The Angels are close to signing LaTroy Hawkins, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. This matches up with comments made earlier today by GM Jerry Dipoto, indicating the Angels were moving toward shoring up their bullpen. The deal is expected to be for one year, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

The Brewers also have interest in Hawkins, who posted a 2.42 ERA in 48 1/3 innings for Milwaukee in 2011.


Brewers Intensify Pursuit Of LaTroy Hawkins

The Brewers intensified their pursuit of free agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins yesterday, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  Discussions with his agents are expected to continue today.  Since Hawkins lives in Dallas, he attended the first two days of the Meetings.

The Brewers have maintained contact with Takashi Saito's agent Nez Balelo, adds McCalvy.  ESPN's Jim Bowden expects a one-year deal.



Quick Hits: Coffey, Nats, Upton, Phillips, Andino

It's been a busy first day of the Winter Meetings at MLBTR, so let's use this opportunity to catch up on a few Monday items that may have slipped through the cracks…

  • Todd Coffey is drawing interest from the Mets and Brewers, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Brew Crew haven't expressed any interest in bringing back another righty, LaTroy Hawkins, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
  • The Nationals may revisit their search for a center fielder after the non-tender deadline, so they can see if any bargain options hit the market, writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
  • B.J. Upton is one center fielder who may be on the trade market, but Morosi hears interest in the Rays' speedster has been "mild" so far (Twitter link).
  • GM Walt Jocketty suggested to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that extension talks between the Reds and Brandon Phillips may hinge on the number of years the club feels comfortable offering.
  • Orioles infielder Robert Andino is drawing trade interest from teams who could use him as a starting shortstop, tweets MASN's Roch Kubatko.
  • GM Dan Duquette said the Orioles have several "irons in the fire" and is optimistic about making at least one move during the Winter Meetings, says Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com.
  • There are indications that the Mariners have talked to the Rockies about Seth Smith's availability, says MLB.com's Greg Johns.

Rockies Inquired On Navarro, Hawkins, Broxton

We learned earlier today that the Rockies are considering free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez. Here’s more on the team’s free agent options, via Troy Renck of the Denver Post:

  • The Rockies are exploring trades for Ian Stewart and the Cubs have at least some interest, according to Renck (on Twitter).
  • The Rockies have also inquired on free agent backstop Dioner Navarro as a potential backup (Twitter link). Navarro, 27, posted a .193/.276/.324 line in 202 plate appearances for the Dodgers in 2011. He hasn't posted an OPS over .600 since making the All-Star team as a member of the 2008 Rays.
  • If the Rockies sign Hernandez, they would look to trade Chris Iannetta, according to Renck. Iannetta interests the Angels and other clubs have called about him in the past.
  • The Rockies have called to inquire on free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Jonathan Broxton, Renck writes. Broxton will likely decide on his next team soon and Hawkins is drawing interest from multiple teams, according to Renck. Rafael Betancourt is set to become the closer if the Rockies trade Huston Street. Be sure to visit CloserNews.com for reliever-related fantasy news and analysis.

Rockies Rumors: Trade Targets, Stewart, Sizemore

The latest on the Rockies from the Denver Post's Troy Renck:

  • The Rockies continue to search for starting pitching via trade, having met with a few teams already. They probably won't match the asking prices for John Danks or Wandy Rodriguez, but they could target arms such as Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis, if the Marlins and Rays are willing to deal.
  • The club plans to tender Ian Stewart a contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be a Rockie in 2012. Multiple clubs have inquired on Stewart, and Colorado is listening.
  • Grady Sizemore won't work out for the Rockies, but the team hopes to get a better read on his health when he visits the Steadman-Hawkins clinic in Vail, Colorado.
  • The Rockies would have interest in LaTroy Hawkins if they opened up a spot for him by trading Huston Street.

Melvin On Brewers’ Offseason

The Brewers’ season is over and while GM Doug Melvin wishes his club were in the World Series, he’s proud of its accomplishments. "There's just too many good things that happened this year for me to be hanging my head,” he said, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here are more details from today’s press conference via Haudricourt:

  • Melvin and Brewers owner Mark Attanasio will meet in early November to discuss what kind of offer they can make free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
  • The Brewers aren’t concerned about Shaun Marcum’s health, though the right-hander struggled in the postseason.
  • Melvin said Yuniesky Betancourt was “a better player than what his critics said.” The Brewers have a $6MM option ($2MM buyout) for the shortstop in 2012 and Melvin declined to say whether they'll pick it up.
  • Melvin explained that he would like to improve defensively without sacrificing on offense.
  • He said the Brewers will seriously consider giving Mat Gamel a chance to make an impact in the Major Leagues if an opportunity emerges (i.e. Fielder signs elsewhere).
  • The Brewers haven’t talked about moving Corey Hart to first base.
  • Melvin said he’ll check in with free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito. Francisco Rodriguez is likely to sign elsewhere, probably as a closer.
  • Melvin said Casey McGehee can still be a good player, despite his disappointing 2011 campaign.
  • Craig Counsell hasn’t told the Brewers whether he intends to play again next year, but it sounds as though Melvin would have some interest in re-signing him. Melvin also expects to speak to Jerry Hairston Jr. and his representative.
  • Mitch Stetter, Manny Parra and Josh Wilson are non-tender candidates, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes explained this week.

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.

Odds & Ends: Heilman, Overbay, Delgado, Reds

As Nationals fans cross their fingers about Stephen Strasburg, here's some news from around the majors…

  • Aaron Heilman is looking forward to his first taste of free agency, reports MLB.com's Andrew Pentis.  Heilman said that he and his agent hadn't had any talks yet with the Diamondbacks about a new contract.
  • Lyle Overbay thinks he has a chance of returning to the Blue Jays next season, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.  Given the Overbay trade rumors we've been hearing all year, this would certainly be a surprise, especially since the Jays have given Adam Lind a few starts at first recently.
  • Carlos Delgado has been placed on the seven-day disabled list by the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, reports Sportsnet New York's Ben Wagner (via Twitter).  Delgado is experiencing soreness in his back and left hip, not his twice-operated on right hip.  The slugger signed a minor league contract with Boston on August 7.
  • Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News thinks the Reds should "make signing Bronson Arroyo a priority," implies that 2010 is Ramon Hernandez's last year in Cincinnati and gives some other opinions in a fan mailbag.
  • Was Khalil Greene the biggest loss for the Rangers this season?  Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News thinks so, given the team's ongoing depth problems.
  • Ricky Nolasco's contract extension talks with the Marlins may be on hold.  Josh Friedman and Craig Mish of The Ticket 790AM radio report (via Twitter) that the Florida right-hander may miss the rest of the season with a partially-torn meniscus. 
  • Dontrelle Willis has been promoted to Triple-A Fresno, and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets that Willis is a candidate to join the Giants when the rosters expand on September 1.
  • LaTroy Hawkins will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.  It's unknown if the scope will reveal more severe damage, but Hawkins says he plans on pitching in 2011.  Since signing a two-year, $7.5MM contract with Milwaukee last December, the injury-plagued Hawkins has made just 18 appearances for the Brewers, posting an 8.44 ERA.

Players Who Were Once Designated For Assignment

We see it all the time. Most weeks a handful of players are designated for assignment and more often than not casual fans barely notice. A DFA indicates that a team is willing to part with a player – sometimes for nothing. But sometimes those players come back from DFAs to become stars in the major leagues. Here's a list of some current players who have been designated for assignment:

  • David Aardsma – The Red Sox acquired Aardsma after the White Sox designated him for assignment in 2008. A year later, the Mariners traded for Aardsma, who became the team's closer and posted impressive rates of 10.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
  • Mike Adams – Adams was designated for assignment in 2006, before he posted absurdly low ERAs and regularly struck out more than a batter per inning.
  • Milton Bradley – The Padres acquired Bradley from the A's after Bradley was designated for assignment in 2007. Bradley hit .313/.414/.590 for the Padres and led them to a one game playoff with the Rockies for the Wild Card spot. Of course Bradley didn't play in game 163, since he tore his ACL while manager Bud Black restrained him during an on-field argument earlier in the month.
  • Russell Branyan – No one claimed Branyan after his 2006 DFA, but the Cardinals traded for him when the Phillies designated him for assignment the next year. He didn't do much for the Cards in his 39 plate appearances in 2007, but Branyan rebounded to hit 31 homers for the Mariners in 2009.
  • Marlon Byrd – The Nationals designated Byrd for assignment in 2006 without losing him and the Rangers did the same in 2007. Byrd recovered from his '07 demotion to post three consecutive productive seasons in Texas.
  • Nelson Cruz – The Rangers designated Cruz for assignment at the beginning of the 2008 season –  usually a good time to sneak players through waivers. The Rangers must be thrilled no one claimed Cruz, who hit 37 homers in the minors that year and added 33 in the majors the following season.
  • Rajai Davis – The A's claimed the outfielder off of waivers from their Bay Area rivals in 2008. Davis was hitting .056/.105/.056 at the time, though he had batted just 19 times. He has gone on to become a useful player, hitting .305/.360/.423 last year with 41 steals and above average defense, according to UZR.
  • Jorge de la Rosa – The Royals designated de la Rosa for assignment in March of 2008, but it wasn't until a month later that the Rockies traded for him. The 29-year-old free agent-to-be has been a productive starter in Colorado since.
  • Ryan Franklin – The Reds acquired Franklin from the Phillies in 2006 after a poor start to the season. Franklin didn't do much better with the Reds, but he has been productive for three-plus seasons in St. Louis since.
  • Jeremy Guthrie – The Orioles claimed the former first round pick from the Indians early in 2007, when Guthrie had just 37 big league innings and a 6.08 ERA to his name. Since, the righty has posted a 4.19 ERA in 610.1 innings.
  • LaTroy Hawkins – The Yankees designated the reliever for assignment in 2008 and traded him to Houston, where Hawkins dominated for 24 appearances. He posted a 0.43 ERA along with 10.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
  • Bobby Jenks – He has fallen out of favor with the White Sox now, but they deserve credit for picking him up after the 2004 season. Jenks has struck out three times as many batters as he has walked in 301 innings with the White Sox.
  • Ryan Ludwick – The slugger started the 2005 season hitting just .154/.267/.385 so the Indians designated him for assignment. No one claimed Ludwick then, but the Cardinals made a shrewd pickup when they later signed him.
  • Brandon Phillips – The Reds claimed Phillips after the Indians designated him for assignment in 2006. He had just a .206/.246/.310 big league line at the time, but he has averaged 22 homers and 26 steals in his four full seasons with the Reds. UZR rates the 28-year-old as an above average defender at second base, too.
  • Joel Pineiro – The Red Sox designated Pineiro for assignment in 2007 when he had a 5.03 ERA and just 20 strikeouts to go along with 14 walks. Later that summer, the Cardinals acquired Pineiro and he went on to post 426.1 solid innings for the Cards. Under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Duncan, Pineiro posted a walk rate of 1.6 BB/9 in a Cardinals uniform.
  • Grant BalfourRyan ChurchJack CustMatt DiazJerry Hairston Jr.Joel HanrahanLivan HernandezMike JacobsColby LewisJulio LugoMike MacDougalEvan MeekVicente PadillaScott PodsednikJ.C. RomeroDavid Ross, Brian Tallet, Todd Wellemeyer and Randy Wells are among the many big leaguers who have been designated for assignment.

It's worth noting that this group does not include a superstar (Cruz might be the closest thing to one). Teams designate many talented players for assignment because of roster constraints, but few enjoy as much success as the group above.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the information.