The Colorado Rockies reached a one-year deal with closing pitcher LaTroy Hawkins on Tuesday.
This was confirmed by the Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders, who says the contract is worth $2.5 million, citing league sources. “The contract includes a buyout of $250,000 on a club option for 2015,” Saunders adds.
However, the deal is still pending as Hawkins will will undergo a physical on Thursday.
Saunders explains Hawkins’ role with the Rockies further:
“The initial plan is for Hawkins to move into the closer’s role, meaning that lefty Rex Brothers wil return to his setup job. After being thrust into a closer role this past season, Brothers converted 19 of his 21 save opportunities, going 0-1 with a 2.33 ERA in save situations. Though Hawkins is penciled in as the closer, a final decision will be determined in spring training.”
The 41-year-old Hawkins, who played for the Rockies’ 2007 National League championship team team, posted a 3-2 record with a 2.93 ERA and 13 saves in 2013 for the New York Mets.
His performance earned praises from Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
“We’re happy for him. He did a great job for us last year. Was a terrific part of the team, in the clubhouse, as well as his role on the field. We wish him well.
“He’s 41 years old. We weren’t necessarily counting on him to fill the same role for us next year. We certainly would have liked to have him in the pen, but going into the spring, I think that, again, given kind of the vagaries of relief pitching anyway and his age and what we had coming, it wasn’t clear what his role would be.”
Should Hawkins not get the closer’s job, he will still join a Colorado bullpen that has Matt Belisle, Wilton Lopez and Mitchell Boggs. MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reported on Nov. 18 that the Rockies were indeed busy pursuing a reputable closer prior to signing Hawkins. Among their targets were Brian Wilson, Grant Balfour and Jose Veras.
Hawkins also made headlines in October while on vacation in South America. “He helped subdue and then escort a troublesome passenger off a plane after the Boeing 777-20 made an unscheduled landing in Lima, Peru,” per ESPN’s Adam Rubin.