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Old 12-01-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Rockies Sign LaTroy Hawkins

Adios, Jose Mesa. I'd say Good Riddance, but that might sound rude.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...182239,00.html

By Tracy Ringolsby, Rocky Mountain News
November 30, 2006
The Rockies filled their glaring late-inning void in the bullpen, agreeing to terms with veteran right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins, the Rocky Mountain News has learned.

The Rockies are expected to announce the signing today. Hawkins received a one-year contract with a base salary of $3.5 million plus a mutual option, according to a source close to the negotiations.

With the signing of Hawkins, the Rockies are now focusing on adding a veteran left-handed reliever, which could be filled by re-signing Tom Martin, and deciding on whether they will tender a contract to Josh Fogg or fill the fifth starter spot by bringing in another pitcher.

The Rockies are looking to Hawkins, who turns 34 on Dec. 21, to handle the eighth-inning setup chores for lefty closer Brian Fuentes, and also fill in as the closer on days where Fuentes is unavailable.

Hawkins has shown an ability to get left-handed hitters out. In the last three years, left-handers have a .257 average against him compared to .268 by right-handers, which adds to his value in an eighth-inning role as opposed to being limited to facing right-handed hitters.

Rockies officials could not be reached to comment on the deal late Thursday, but general manager Dan ODowd has said he was focused on ``a veteran pitcher who has worked in the role of a closer, a lot like what we had with Jose Mesa, only younger.

Hawkins fits that to a tee. Nearly six years younger tha Mesa, Hawkins has had experience in closing with both Minnesota in 2001 and the Chicago Cubs in 2004. He, however, has more success in 10-plus big-league seasons working in a setup role.

A native of Gary, Ind., who was originally signed by Minnesota as a seventh-round draft choice in 1991, Hawkins has appeared in at least 60 games each of his seven seasons as a reliever. He began his career as a starter, but was moved into the bullpen role by Minnesota in 2000.

The Rockies will be his fifth team in five years.

After playing for the Twins in2003 he signed with the Cubs as a free agent. Chicago dealt him to San Francisco for former Cherry Creek High pitcher David Aarsdma in the midst of the 2005 season, and the Giants, in turn sent him to Baltimore for lefty Steve Kline last off-season.
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:59 PM   #2
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Isn't LaTroy Hawkins basically the same damn thing aas Mesa, just slightly younger. I would have liked this signing about, oh, 8 years ago.

I can't see JJ sticking around either.
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Old 12-02-2006, 01:07 AM   #3
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You get a vet to replace that hulking wreck Mesa at a reasonable price, plus the option. Compared to the deals handed out to guys like Baez and Speier, this is a good deal.
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:16 AM   #4
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Isn't LaTroy Hawkins basically the same damn thing aas Mesa, just slightly younger. I would have liked this signing about, oh, 8 years ago.

I can't see JJ sticking around either.
He is six years younger, I think. I don't even care, though. I just can't stand watching Jose Mesa run out there again. A year from now, I'll probably be thrilled to see LaTroy Hawkins go.

As for JJ, I am afraid you're probably right. I don't see any reason for him to take much of a hometown discount, and I don't see the Rockies paying him what he could make on the open market. My guess is that he'll end up a trade deadline deal this July. At some point, it's going to be hard to stay loyal to this team. It's damn frustrating, because we waited a long time for Major League Baseball. I wish the Monforts would sell to someone that could afford to be a little more aggressive with things.
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:54 AM   #5
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I see JJ leaving town eventually, too (if not traded this offseason he will be by the trading deadline). The Rockies are trying to promote with their young players "the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back", hoping they'll stick around if they become stars and play for less for the Rockies. I don't think this is realistic.
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Old 12-02-2006, 04:08 PM   #6
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I see JJ leaving town eventually, too (if not traded this offseason he will be by the trading deadline). The Rockies are trying to promote with their young players "the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back", hoping they'll stick around if they become stars and play for less for the Rockies. I don't think this is realistic.
Yeah, there's just no reason to. I suppose some people might fall in love with the city and the mountains (Or the school system, in Mike Hamton's case - I loved giving Mets fans a hard time over that one when we signed him. It so pissed them off, because they felt it was so disingenuous. Little did we know how much better it would have been if he had just signed there). Otherwise, most of these guys grew up elsewhere, so Colorado isn't much more than a stopover point for them. It's not like they would play here for less to be part of a winning tradition - what a joke that is! And despite the humidor, it's still perceived as a bad place to pitch, so that is actually working against the hometown discount concept. And we can't even boast playing in front of sold out stadiums anymore.

Nice job, Monforts.

I can't wait for the spin when they dump him. There has been a tiny little speck of credibility in their "grow from within" concept, because you could see the young kids improving. They lost some of that credibility when they traded Shawn Chacon (not just a kid that came up through the system - but a truly local kid, to boot) - but that trade turned out okay in the long run, so a lot of us sort of forgot about it. If they dump Jennings, they have done the very thing they said they wouldn't do.

-Young arm that comes up through the system - check.
-Fearless psyche that seems tailor-made for Coors Field - check.
-Pitcher that eats up innings every year (and protects the bullpen) - check.
-Pitcher that avoids prolonged slumps, at least to this point in his career - check.

-Oh, and the last one: Ownership that is over their head in trying to compete financially on the MLB playing field - check.

I wish there was something other than baseball to follow during the summer. This organization just depresses me.
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:11 PM   #7
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Hawkins has slipped pretty badly the last couple years. He's probably an upgrade over Joe Table, but that's damning him with faint praise.
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DomCasual View Post
Yeah, there's just no reason to. I suppose some people might fall in love with the city and the mountains (Or the school system, in Mike Hamton's case - I loved giving Mets fans a hard time over that one when we signed him. It so pissed them off, because they felt it was so disingenuous. Little did we know how much better it would have been if he had just signed there). Otherwise, most of these guys grew up elsewhere, so Colorado isn't much more than a stopover point for them. It's not like they would play here for less to be part of a winning tradition - what a joke that is! And despite the humidor, it's still perceived as a bad place to pitch, so that is actually working against the hometown discount concept. And we can't even boast playing in front of sold out stadiums anymore.

Nice job, Monforts.

I can't wait for the spin when they dump him. There has been a tiny little speck of credibility in their "grow from within" concept, because you could see the young kids improving. They lost some of that credibility when they traded Shawn Chacon (not just a kid that came up through the system - but a truly local kid, to boot) - but that trade turned out okay in the long run, so a lot of us sort of forgot about it. If they dump Jennings, they have done the very thing they said they wouldn't do.

-Young arm that comes up through the system - check.
-Fearless psyche that seems tailor-made for Coors Field - check.
-Pitcher that eats up innings every year (and protects the bullpen) - check.
-Pitcher that avoids prolonged slumps, at least to this point in his career - check.

-Oh, and the last one: Ownership that is over their head in trying to compete financially on the MLB playing field - check.

I wish there was something other than baseball to follow during the summer. This organization just depresses me.
Of course, and we'll get a column from Tracy Ringolsby about what a great move it was.

Might as well get used to this, it's gonna be pretty much the way it goes when the time comes for all of the Rockies homegrown players to get paid. Holliday (they've got the built in Boras excuse with him), Atkins, Francis, Cook will all either be dealt or lost for no compensation because this ownership is content to field a substandard product and collect welfare checks (they prefer the term revenue sharing) from the league.

Same old, same old.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:26 PM   #9
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The worst thing about the Monforts is that they are content with the status quo - if they aren't going to invest in the product then SELL THE TEAM! Instead the Monforts are happy to rake in a small profit each year from revenue sharing and a sweetheart lease at Coors Field, while putting an inferior underfunded team on the field.

I used to be a season ticket holder and went to 15 to 20 games a year. I've only gone to 1 game in the past three years. I know a bunch of other season ticket holders who have bailed out. If we ever got an owner like Stan Kroenke who would invest in the franchise the fans would come back.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:34 AM   #10
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Of course, and we'll get a column from Tracy Ringolsby about what a great move it was.

Might as well get used to this, it's gonna be pretty much the way it goes when the time comes for all of the Rockies homegrown players to get paid. Holliday (they've got the built in Boras excuse with him), Atkins, Francis, Cook will all either be dealt or lost for no compensation because this ownership is content to field a substandard product and collect welfare checks (they prefer the term revenue sharing) from the league.

Same old, same old.
That's the thing that makes me sick. These SOBs are taking in over $10 million a year for having run this franchise into the ground. It should make owners who contribute sick, too - although more offensive to them is how much they have to pay to keep the commissioner's family team in business.

We were drawing 4 million+ fans a year. You almost have to try to screw that up. I appreciate the fact that they once spent money (Neagle, Hampton). But it's not fair to fans for them to permanently throw it into the crapper, just because they had a foolhardy, flawed strategy five years ago.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:03 AM   #11
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Ken Rosenthal says that Chicago might trade you guys Jaqcue Jones for Jennings. Then you'd swap Jones for something else...

I'd love to have him up here in Seattle, and he'd be the icing on the cake to the two bargain moves that our GM, Bavasi, has made so far (John Thomson and Jose Guillen).
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:07 AM   #12
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That's the thing that makes me sick. These SOBs are taking in over $10 million a year for having run this franchise into the ground. It should make owners who contribute sick, too - although more offensive to them is how much they have to pay to keep the commissioner's family team in business.

We were drawing 4 million+ fans a year. You almost have to try to screw that up. I appreciate the fact that they once spent money (Neagle, Hampton). But it's not fair to fans for them to permanently throw it into the crapper, just because they had a foolhardy, flawed strategy five years ago.
They pocketed $16 million last year from revenue sharing and not a dime of that will be spent to improve the team.

Other owners may not like the fact that they're pocketing that cash, but the trade off is that the Rockies are basically content to be a farm club for the rest of MLB. They'll draft players, develop them and when the time comes to pay them, they'll send them off to the teams who are willing to spend money....the same ones who're shoving revenue sharing dollars into the Monforts pockets.

When the Rockies truly become that, a farm club for the rest of the league, that's when I give up on them for good. I can stick by bad teams, but I refuse to stick by an organization that has no interest in winning.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:15 AM   #13
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Ken Rosenthal says that Chicago might trade you guys Jaqcue Jones for Jennings. Then you'd swap Jones for something else...

I'd love to have him up here in Seattle, and he'd be the icing on the cake to the two bargain moves that our GM, Bavasi, has made so far (John Thomson and Jose Guillen).
Any idea who the Rockies would end up with? Jones for Jennings doesn't seem like a very good deal for the Rockies - Jones is 31.

I always liked John Thomson.
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #14
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Any idea who the Rockies would end up with? Jones for Jennings doesn't seem like a very good deal for the Rockies - Jones is 31.

I always liked John Thomson.
No I don't, but unless Chicago adds a nice prospect that the Rox like I really don't see the point of just swapping trade pieces when Jennings is the hotter commodity.
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Old 12-06-2006, 08:26 PM   #15
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They pocketed $16 million last year from revenue sharing and not a dime of that will be spent to improve the team.

Other owners may not like the fact that they're pocketing that cash, but the trade off is that the Rockies are basically content to be a farm club for the rest of MLB. They'll draft players, develop them and when the time comes to pay them, they'll send them off to the teams who are willing to spend money....the same ones who're shoving revenue sharing dollars into the Monforts pockets.

When the Rockies truly become that, a farm club for the rest of the league, that's when I give up on them for good. I can stick by bad teams, but I refuse to stick by an organization that has no interest in winning.
That's where I'm at when it comes to the Rockies. I'm tired of this nickel and dime crap. I'm willing to stick with the youth movement, but when these kids get good, you have to pay them.
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