Yankees Sign LaTroy Hawkins

The Yankees reached a preliminary agreement with LaTroy Hawkins on a one-year, $3.75 million contract.

In 2007, the-soon-to-be 35-year old Hawkins posted a 3.42 ERA and a 2-5 record in 55 1/3 innings with the NL champion Colorado Rockies. The primary use of Hawkins would be to fill the role of right-hander Luis Vizcaino, who declined the Yankees’ offer of salary arbitration last week. Vizcaino, who is seeking a multiyear contract, is expected to sign elsewhere.

There is nothing terribly exciting about this move. Hawkins is now joining his fifth MLB team, having played for the Twins (having spent the majority of his career in Minnesota, from 1995 to 2003), the Cubs, the Giants, the Orioles, and most recently, the Colorado Rockies. While 2007 was a decent year for Hawkins, he has previously struggled in the Majors. Most notably, he lost his role as closer with the Chicago Cubs in the 2004-2005 season.

The Yankees have reiterated that it is their goal to bolster their bullpen. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said he is not intrigued by repeated offers from other clubs to obtain setup man Kyle Farnsworth, who could slot back into his eighth-inning role that was filled in the season’s final two months by rookie Joba Chamberlain.

Personally, I don’t see Latroy Hawkins “bolstering” the Yankees. If anything, he will continue being mediocre. When I think of Hawkins, I think of a used-to-be closer who blew too many saves and a recent middle reliever who hasn’t turned too many heads. Hawkins might become the set-up man for Mariano Rivera (now that Hank Steinbrenner announced that Joba Chamberlain will begin the 2008 season as a starter), but the Yankees will probably have open auditions for bullpen roles in Spring Training to finalize the bullpen priorities.

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on December 10, 2007.

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