The Pirates have granted outfielder Brad Hawpe his unconditional release, report Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter) and Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (also on Twitter). While it is unclear whether Hawpe will look to continue his attempt at a career revival with another club, he acknowledged that "the game has gotten faster and I didn't catch up," according to another Biertempfel tweet.
The left-handed-swinging Hawpe had not seen big league action since 2011. A former All-Star in Colorado, Hawpe averaged a slash line of better than .280/.380/.500 with over 20 home runs a season between 2006-2009, but never regained that form in the years that followed. Hawpe was struggling at the plate this spring, putting up just a .139/.225/.222 line over 40 plate appearances.
As MLB.com's Tom Singer reported in February, Hawpe's contract with Pittsburgh permitted him to request his release on March 26 if he had yet to be placed on the club's major league roster.