I hate being mean…..
LaTroy Hawkins signs with Yankees for 1 year, $4 million

Hawkins is the first of a few moves the Yankees have to make in order to find a diamond in the rough at the setup man spot in their bullpen. With Joba Chamberlain moving to the rotation full time, Hawkins will compete for eighth inning calls by new manager Joe Girardi. Unfortunately for the Yankees (or fortunately) those calls will be very minimal once the Yankees see Hawkins try to handle American League lineups in big spots. His numbers in Colorado were inflated due to a .209 BABIP in Coors Field, which is unheard of, and got away with a 4.8 K/9 rate for a middle reliever.
His last appearance in the AL East came in 2006 with the Orioles and Hawkins finished with a 4.48 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. His career ERA

Categories: Andrew Miller Andruw Jones Atlanta Braves Brad Lidge Brendan Harris Brian Schneider Cameron Maybin Chicago White Sox Cincinnati Reds Delmon Young Detroit Tigers Dontrelle Willis Eduardo Morlan Eric Bruntlett Eric Gagne Florida Marlins Francisco Cordero Geoff Geary Houston Astros Jason Bartlett Jon Garland Jorge Posada Jose Guillen Kansas City Royals Lastings Milledge LaTroy Hawkins Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Mariano Rivera Matt Garza Michael Bourn Miguel Cabrera Milton Bradley Milwaukee Brewers Minnesota Twins New York Mets New York Yankees Orlando Cabrera Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Church Scott Linebrink Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers Tom Glavine Torii Hunter Troy Percival Washington Nationals

33 Responses to “MLB Offseason Evaluations” Subscribe

  1. Zach December 10, 2007 at 8:41 PM #

    What exactly makes you think Dontrelle Willis can be any good in the American League? He was flat out awful with the freakin Marlins last year, and we're touting this guy as a key piece in a championship run? Excuse me if I'm skeptical.
    The Tigers don't get an A+ because of Willis and giving up Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin. What's not to understand? Both of those players are going to huge very soon and have incredibly high ceilings. I know we love to focus on offense, but M-Cab isn't exactly a gold glove at third base.
    It was a good trade for both sides. Florida did what they had to, and Detroit did too.

  2. jvwalt December 11, 2007 at 6:06 AM #

    "The Yankees basically had to make this move or move Joba Chamberlain to closer, an idea that would reduce his value while reducing his innings." Following the same logic, shouldn't Papelbon be starting for the Red Sox?
    And one note re: the Cabrera/Willis trade: Dave Dombrowski has a very strong track record of drafting and developing young talent in a hurry. I'm sure he feels some confidence in his own ability to rebuild the farm system, and that had to have been a big factor in his willingness to trade away Miller and Maybin. Presumably, he's operating on the assumption that, within two or three years, he'll assemble a new generation of MLB-ready prospects.

  3. Zach Hayes December 11, 2007 at 6:23 AM #

    Well, the Red Sox tried to start Papelbon, didn't they? The front office knew they were reducing his value from over 200 innings to the closers role, but did it because A) their bullpen outlook was grim (before Okajima or MDC established themselves) and B) Papelbon wanted to.

  4. Daniel Rathman December 11, 2007 at 6:28 AM #

    Grade for Astros bringing in Ed Wade: Z infinity-minus.
    What were they thinking?!
    Anyhow, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins/Sox talks have picked back up with Minnesota seeking an Ellsbury-led package in return. The report says that the package is Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson, and a fourth prospect. No deal is imminent.
    Link: http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/12337791….

  5. Daniel Rathman December 11, 2007 at 6:30 AM #

    One thing I want to clarify…if the package is the Ellsbury one, what are we going to do with our uber-logjam of starting pitchers?
    1. Beckett
    2. Santana
    3. DiceK
    4. Schilling
    5. Buchholz
    6. Lester
    7. Wakefield
    Trade Lester for relief/bench help? Trade someone else for a catching prospect?

  6. Zach Hayes December 11, 2007 at 6:45 AM #

    Lester = bullpen, Buchholz = AAA to begin the year.

  7. Shane December 11, 2007 at 6:59 AM #

    I wouldn't mind them having Lester in the pen, and Buchholz in AAA. Yes Buchholz threw a no-hitter, but is he ready for a full year? We'd be locked with injury insurance. Then in 2009 Schill is gone, Wake goes to the pen/retires, Lester and Bucholz join the rotation. Then there will be:
    1. Beckett
    2. Santana
    3. DiceK
    4. Buchholz
    5. Lester
    Beat that.

  8. Dave B. December 11, 2007 at 7:50 AM #

    Ughhh, i thought we were past this Santana for Ellsbury stuff. For the 100th time, we need a high OBP lead-off hitter more than an expensive starting pitcher. If we make that trade, we will be regretting it BIG TIME within 3 years.
    I think the Tigers MURDERED the Marlins in that trade. Miller is not anything special. He is just a hard thrower that needs a lot of polishing. Maybin is good, but according to Silver his PECOTA doesn't look like much more than decent.
    Cabrera is a stud and Willis is the real deal. He can easily be a good 3rd starter in the AL. Not to mention you get 4 years of these players.
    I really am kinda pissed that that type of trade happened and not for us. A package of Ellsbury, Lester, Lowrie, Masterson, Hansen, and Moss should have gotten us those 2 players. But now we are giving up almost the same thing minus 2 players for Santana. I'm just at a lost as to what we are thinking.

  9. Eric SanInocencio December 11, 2007 at 7:57 AM #

    From the Rays perspective, I think you undersell Delmon Young a little bit. He showed some good peripherals and played a high level at just 22 years of age.
    Finding a future four hole hitter is more valuable than a number two arm. I know everyone gets caught up on OBP for Delmon, but he hits for power like Vlad Guerrero than it can become acceptable.
    My rule of thumb is that when you get the best player in the trade, you usually win the deal. For me, that player is Delmon Young.

  10. Eric SanInocencio December 11, 2007 at 7:59 AM #

    Also, the Tigers move was one of the best trades I can remember taking place. For the age of their lineup, they got two players that are not only young, but can help them win now.
    What more can you ask for? Detroit should get an A+. They gave up players who wouldn't have contributed this year (because of Granderson and the rotation) to get two guys that will be key cogs in a championship run. Isn't that the definition of a fabolous trade?

  11. RollingWave December 11, 2007 at 9:12 AM #

    I think your slightly underrated Willis a bit. his periphals are still pretty good (slight downward trend but nothing drastic) and he had a REALLY bad defense behind him (Hanely is Jeter bah and Miguel 's only qulifed aspect for a 3B is his arm and Uggla is also terrible.
    Despite pitching in Dolphin Stadium, Willis actually had a better road split.. induce quiet a bit of groundball but also had some bad luck with HR/FB.
    in the end. Willis is as good of a bet for a bounce back year as any pitcher. i think he's probably their best bet after Verlander to be frank. (Bonderman is increasingly looking like a head case)
    Yeah, the Yanks overpayed for Rivera. though to be fair. his periphals were all inline with his career norm (Actually, they were better!) the only thing that really wasn't was BABIP and HR/FB (the two big luck stats). he's clearly a freak of nature and if there's a old reliever that might actually have a shot at making such a deal not look terrible it's him. i would probaby have given it a B- to B. espically given the (lack of) alternatives and Joba and all.
    The Yankee's bullpen plan is interesting enough. it's really something of putting the stathead's theory to the test. they're pretty much seem set to go into 08 with Rivera and a lot medocrity or unknowns. but they got A TON of it. wether it be indy ball pickups throwin up crook numbers in the minors. decent second teir SP prospect that could be converted. or RP prospects. or potential injury bounce backs. they got it all. it's intriguing to see if that works out.
    as for the Jones deal, i agree that he is likely to bounce back, but wehter the signing is good or not will depend a lot on a. if Juan Pierre continue to kill the team and b. if they trade Kemp / Ethier they better get someone REALLY good.
    the doomsday scenairo is obviously that Jones plays CF , Pierre RF (ROFL) and Kemp gets traded for some garbage. they really should just DFA Pierre's arse or see is anyone is dumb enough to want a salary dump deal. Kemp is a guy you really shouldn't trade. it's the same logic as Delmon Young, and Kemp has done better than Young. and the guys comming back would almost surely be more expensive than Garza… on a team that should be able to spend on FAs and have enough intriguing pitchers in their own right both now and going foward.
    As for the Santana rumor. i dunno. with Manny on the decline and Papi's health not exactly the safest bet in the world. would trading two key pieces of the future offense really be a good idea? it seems like a good chance that the team turns into a great pitching questionable hitting team if they pull something like that. and the problem with that is that the great pitching will hinge on health. and really. health for pitchers are really the worest things to bet on no matter who they are.

  12. Eric SanInocencio December 11, 2007 at 9:17 AM #

    You gave the Marlins a higher grade, and I just can't see anyway where Detroit did not come out ahead.
    The pieces the Tigers gave up would not have been apart of this year's run or perhaps the year after.
    What you have to take into account is that Maybin was blocked in CF by Granderson, who isn't going anywhere, and on the flanks by Magglio Ordonez (last year's MVP runner up) and would not have competed until 2009 for the starting job in LF.
    Miller's in the same boat, because of the youth at the top of the Tiger rotation (Verlander, Bonderman) and the established veterans (Robertson, Rogers, etc.). While Dontrelle isn't a great pitcher anymore, for Detroit he doesn't have to be. He simply has to be a #4 on a team that will score close to 1000 runs. He'll be able.
    You can assume both of the traded players will be huge, but you have no way of knowing for sure. Miller is far from certain, and struggled with both command and high pitch counts all of last year. In my opinion he is a season or two away from being close to what Willis is now, and that's league average.
    So, Detroit gave up two guys that aren't MLB ready, and in return got the second best hitting 3B in the league (bad glove or not, and that can improve too) and a pitcher who can slot into their major league rotation.
    You have to remember, these guys are young too! It is possible that Willis can revert to the 22 win pitcher he was. Willis is only 25 and should have serveral more improvement years ahead.
    When you give up pieces that weren't going to help you now or in the immediate future because of how your roster shakes up, and recieve two guys who immediate make you better, than you win the deal. Hands down, Detroit deserves the better grade.

  13. Zach December 11, 2007 at 9:24 AM #

    For 2008, Detroit deserves the better grade. I'm looking at it long term. Miller and Maybin would have been huge parts on a Tigers team from the second half of this year to 2009 and the future at a cheap cost. Miller takes over for Rogers and Maybin in LF or when someone gets hurt this year.
    The Marlins had to deal Cabrera and Willis right now, and the way they received 2 players, who, and this is my opinion from seeing them play, will be superstars, I thought they came out very well. In no way am I going to be 100% right no doubt.
    I agree about the above posts point about the improved defense behind Willis, that will help, but doesn't that cancel out heading to the AL? The guy gave up 241 H in 205 IP with just 146 K and 87 BB for a 1.60 WHIP and 5.17 ERA. That's terrible. Maybe he bounces back and I eat my words, but I'm leaning towards no.
    The grades were based on whether I thought the Marlins came away with the best possible outcome during a bad situation, and I felt they did. The Tigers instantly made themselves better, that's for sure. I still gave them an A-. It was a good trade for both sides.

  14. RollingWave December 11, 2007 at 10:46 AM #

    I think Willis 's 07 was some combination of bad luck terrible defense and a little wear and tear.
    just look at some of the key stats.
    K/9: 6.40 / career 6.66
    BB/9 3.81 / 3.03
    HR/FB: 13.4% / career 8.9%
    GB/FB 1.44 / 1.35
    BABIP: .329 /.309
    the only thing that really strikes me is the walk part. though there's a reasonable chance that he could pull it back closer to his career norm.. it's not like he completely lost it.
    as for the AL change, i think it matters but not quiet as much as people are making it out to be. particularly if the pitcher is young and ummm good. I don't think anyone would suggest that Cole Hamels would be a 5th starter in the AL or Jake Peavy would be a 3rd starter. Willis is young enough and competitive enough to have a good chance in adjusting. AJ Burnett did just fine (when he actually manage to take the mound anyway) and so did Josh Beckett after one season. (though he probalby would regress a little next year. if only that it seems unlikely for any pitcher these days to retain a ERA like that for 2 strait season in the AL.. particularly the east.)

  15. Dave B. December 11, 2007 at 12:51 PM #

    Yea, there is ZERO way the Tigers don't get an A+++++.
    According to PECOTA:
    Maybin 2008: .248/.330/.428 with league-average D.
    By 25: 267/.357/.460 with league average D.
    Also, Miller was completely expendable. He has under 100 innings in the minors, has got rocked in the little time he has been in the bigs, and is one of many great young arms they have. He is a project, and the Tigers didn't need that.
    You are vastly under how important the fact that they get 4 years of arbitration between the 2. They got 2 proven players for 4 cost controlled years for 6 maybes.
    Speaking on Willis. The guy can be a STUD. Anyone remember 2005 when he had a WARP of 11.6? That is Santana-like. He is a 6+ WARP kind of pitcher. He can pitch 200+ innings a year, and he is only 25. There are hardly anyone in the majors that can say those things. For him to be refered to as a throw in or a negative is literally retarded. He could easily be an #2. Give him a good D behind, no Hanley manning SS, and he will put up and ERA of sub-4.
    This is completely without speaking on Cabrera, one of the very best young hitters in the league. If there was a letter before A than the Tigers should have got it

  16. Ian Meiksins December 11, 2007 at 3:03 PM #

    "The two draft picks netted for Cordero along with the two collected if Gagne totals around 30 saves this year are important in this decision. Grade: B+"
    Why do the Brewers need those draft picks? Their minors are already stuffed like a thanksgiving turkey!! What they need is a solid bullpen pitcher who will save some games. In my mind he was the best possible option to help the brew crew to the world series.
    One more thing, the difference of Gagne's situation in Boston and Texas was, in texas he was a closer, in Boston he was a setup man. If you take a guy out of his element he will choke and thats why if the brewers give him the closer role, he will return to his shutdown closer.

  17. Dave B. December 11, 2007 at 3:08 PM #

    The difference between Texas and Boston was Tek sucks and can't call a game. To tell a guy whos best pitch is a change-up to throw lots of fastballs is retarded.

  18. Shane December 11, 2007 at 4:41 PM #

    Yeah, it's Tek fault Gange sucked. And don't get me started on the crap pitch selection he was giving to Beckett all year, I mean come on! How crappier can one guy be!

  19. Sam December 11, 2007 at 4:48 PM #

    um … haven't we had the conversation about Varitek's game calling skills before Dave B? you are entitled to your opinion of course but I'm curious … do you think Tek is a bad player and leader and everything or is it just his gamecalling you think is a problem?

  20. Dave B. December 11, 2007 at 5:06 PM #

    I don't know how to approach you question. Are you asking about right now and going forward or was he? If the question is now and going forward, i think he is a really bad player. He can't call a game, he is a below average hitter (.239 and .264 EqAs the past 2 years) and he can't throw runners out (14th of 21).
    Dude, Beckett is a prime example of why Tek isn't a good catcher. Remember when Beckett came here? and he was awful? I would love to see a list of pitchers that have came here and thrived. Look at just last year, Dice-K went from a top 10 pitcher in the world (according to BA) to a nice #3. Did his skills diminish or did Tek just not have him use his repertoire to its potential?
    Are you trying to tell me Gagnes struggling had nothing to do with Tek? Did you watch the games? He had Gagne consistently going to his fastball. Maybe i missed something but Gagne hasn't had a good fastball in years. His pitch is a change-up. He went from 2.16 ERA to 6.75. He wasn't extremely hurt. He didn't change leagues. The park wasn't any worse than the old one. So what happened? Players don't naturally regress 4.5 runs in one season.

  21. Zach December 11, 2007 at 5:35 PM #

    Ian, I know you love the Brewers, but their minor leagues isn't stocked anymore. They have some talent- LaPorta, Escobar, Jeffress- but it's not in the upper eschelon with most of their talent like Hart, Weeks, Gwynn, Braun, Parra, Gallardo in the majors. Everyone needs draft picks, bud.

  22. RollingWave December 11, 2007 at 6:10 PM #

    ehhh let's not get side tracked here. most statitions think that game calling is a vastly overrated aspect of a catcher and has very little difference in the long term anyway.
    as for D-train, i think he'll bounce back, but saying he's Santana like is wayyyyy over the top, he'll at best be around what Andy Pettitte did this year. just that you'll probably have more fun watching him do it ;)

  23. Ian Meiksins December 11, 2007 at 6:11 PM #

    Does it need to be in the upper eschelon? LaPorta and Escobar will be the finishing touchups on a lineup that will last and be sucessfull for 5-6 years! But the bullpen has always been suspect, so to stabalize it for awhile they bring a proven reliever.
    Maybe a bit over priced, but if he helps us get into the playoffs, i'll kiss him!
    .

  24. Dave B. December 11, 2007 at 6:21 PM #

    If you read what i wrote i said his season was Santana like. Look at Willis best season verse Santana's best:
    Willis 2005:
    236.3 IP, 2.63 ERA, and 11.6 WARP
    Santana 2004:
    221.5 IP, 2.59 ERA, and 11.8 WARP
    When you compare their best seasons, you don't see a huge gap. I'm not saying that Willis is Santana, i'm just saying he has ace written all over him. Put him on a team with a good D and give him some better luck and he is a stud.

  25. Dave B. December 11, 2007 at 6:22 PM #

    Also, draft picks are getting to be so overrated. If 1/3 of your picks become good players you have done a great job. How does that equate to a Type A free agent.

  26. Sam December 11, 2007 at 6:47 PM #

    I was just curious as to whether you think he contributes anything to the team … or whether its just his gamecalling that you have a problem with … I dunno … I don't wanna get into a big debate over Varitek's worth again but I just can't listen to someone hate on the Captain without making a couple points in his defence…
    I disagree with the point that Varitek is the reason why pitchers have done poorly upon entering Boston … Beckett improved greatly his second year here once he began to work better with Varitek and once he stopped trying to impose his fastball on everyone … Dice-K isn't a very good example as he was hard to predict … I think he handled the transition much better than he might have … also add on the young pitchers who have come up and relied on Varitek and done well recently … I mean Buchholz pitched a no-no in his 2nd start right? you can't tell me Clay wasn't nodding at every finger that the Captain threw down there … IMHO he does a fantastic job alot of the time especially with the younger pitchers
    as far as Gagne goes … I'll agree he didnt seem to be pitching smartly out on the mound but I doubt that was Tek's fault … I suspect Gagne (a veteran who had a lot of success in the past) wanted to rely on his own ability to dominate with anything he threw … rather than listen … same thing happened with Beckett … of course Beckett was younger and over time more ready to work with Tek … IMO Gagne wasn't … but thats just speculation … all of this is really of course … but considering how widespread the respect for his clubhouse leadership, gamecalling, and pitcher handling is … I'd take him with those intagibles over any other catcher out there (most of whom don't hit a whole lot better)
    sorry if I got sidetracked … just my opinion

  27. Daniel Rathman December 11, 2007 at 7:13 PM #

    One of the things that surprised me as I went back to MLB.TV to re-watch some of Gagne's awfulness is that Varitek was constantly calling for heat. It's "1" after "1" after "1" which is rather strange. Gagne also doesn't shake him off very often if you look closely, hence the inordinate number of fastballs.
    I don't want to say that Varitek was completely to blame for Gagne's struggles because he wasn't, but he did seem to become far too enamored with the fastball. Same thing with Dice-K: Tek consistently calls for only the fastball and curve, and wants the change and slider rather infrequently. Seems weird.
    I don't think Tek is as bad as you're saying, Dave, but I wouldn't say that he's among the best game-callers in the league — at least not for every pitcher. His leadership qualities, as Sam pointed out, are also hard to deny. Still, I'm not at all certain that he's worth keeping after next year, if better options are available.

  28. Evan Brunell December 11, 2007 at 7:59 PM #

    I think Tek is a really good leader and an average game caller.
    He meshes with some people, and he doesn't mesh with some. It's that simple.
    Timlin has blossomed in Boston. Buchholz looks sick. Lester has been brought along. Beckett, Gagne: I think that Varitek was trying to get them to establish their fastball to work off their off-speed pitches. In the AL, you need to bring the heat (heat as in 92+) to effectively confuse them with your offspeed pitches.
    He has success with some and some he doesn't. That's life, every catcher agrees with that. He's an average game caller, but his defense (defense, not arm) and his leadership is off the charts.
    Tito said the Sox would fall apart without Tek as their C.
    I honestly believe that he's more valuable than he's not. There's too much to say otherwise.
    That's not to say that we should sign him to 3/30 for an extension. Heeeeellllll no. His O is dissapearing.
    Sign him to start in 08 and 09 and look to start replacing him in '10.

  29. Sam December 11, 2007 at 8:04 PM #

    yeah I can't say I know how Tek and Gagne get along … I also can't say I know how Tek calls his games … I'm just saying he is widely respected for being a good game caller and a good leader … I just have a hard time believing he would be the Captain and be held in such high regard for no reason … but I am not a big stats guy and I don't get a cance to watch a huge amount of their games so in the end … I'm mostly just speculating from what I hear

  30. Shane December 11, 2007 at 8:44 PM #

    I can see that… But what other options are there for the immediate future? All of the good young catchers I'm aware of won't be traded. How is the team going to transition to the non-Tek era? I like the idea of extending Tek's contract, not for 10 mil a year of course, two years while the team tries to find/groom a replacement.
    Since they haven't re-signed Merribelli does anybody think Kottaras will be the backup this year?

  31. Dave B. December 12, 2007 at 5:08 AM #

    I don't have a huge problem with him this year. Overall he is an average catcher. Come 2010, he is going to stink. I'm sorry its that simple. If we sign him like it has been discussed, it is worse than the Drew signing.

  32. Shane December 12, 2007 at 6:45 AM #

    I thought you loved the Drew signing?

  33. Dave B. December 12, 2007 at 7:41 AM #

    I love Drew, not so much the signing. You aren't going to get me to say anything bad about Drew. The guy is the most talented player on the team not names Manny. If he puts the pieces back together, he is a top 10 player in baseball. That being said, he should have been had for a 4 year deal and 55M. Plus, it is hard to find a comparable signing. Lugo's deal was brutal and nothing is worse than that, the Lowell signing was concurrent with the market demands, and Schilling/Wake/Timlin are signing to low risk contracts. If Theo does one thing correct its not give out bad contracts. Signing Tek would easily be his worse signing besides Lugo.