Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are believed to be interested in Colorado Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins. He notes that a deal might be difficult for the Rockies, since they’re looking for players who could help them at the start of next season. Hawkins is 41 years old, but he’s also cheap compared to some of the other players on the market. He’s only making $2.25 M this year, with a $2.25 M option next year and a $250,000 buyout.
Using the reliever trade values I looked at last night, Hawkins would be worth $2.9 M. That’s based on his salary, and 0.5 WAR per year, at $8.5 M per WAR. He’s had a higher value in previous years, including an 0.8 WAR last year. This year he has an 0.3 WAR, which projects to an 0.45 WAR over a full season. I rounded it up, and went with this figure over the 2013 figure due to Hawkins’ age.
The $2.9 M value would be worth a young Grade C pitcher, and maybe a Grade C hitting prospect. The pitcher would likely be a lower level starting prospect. That’s not much to give up for relief pitching help, but I’m not sure how much help Hawkins would be. He’s got a 3.09 ERA in 35 innings this year, but a 4.35 xFIP, which doesn’t indicate the same success going forward. That number would rank behind everyone in the Pirates’ bullpen, and would be worse than what guys like Jared Hughes and Jeanmar Gomez would be expected to do in the middle innings, based on their xFIP totals.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.