There are quite a few posts out there this morning gravitating around LaTroy Hawkins and the Mets decision not to re-sign him. Andy Martino of the Daily News however, takes the most pointed approach.
Hawkins, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Rockies, is second in the league with nine saves and has a 2.38 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 12 appearances with no blown saves.
In stark contrast, Mets closers have blown five saves in 11 opportunities with seven different relievers having had a chance to save a game after just one month into the season.
Regarding the Mets offer to Hawkins, the veteran reliever told reporters, “the Mets did not even come close.” Although his first choice was to stay with the Mets because he enjoyed his time there.
Martino writes that surprised by the size of the Rockies’ offer, the Mets did not believe that a 41-year-old pitcher was worth that investment. And while that makes sense in a world without context, it proved short-sighted, and failed to account for Hawkins’ continued arm strength and health, and for his results.
If Sandy Alderson was serious about his 90-win goal, he asks, shouldn’t they have splurged on a modest one-year deal for a player who fit so perfectly?
Look: This team cannot have it two ways. You’re either spending on the details that give you a better chance to win this year, or waiting yet another season to be taken seriously. The shame will be if the Mets do continue to surprise the league, but are undermined from earning that second wild card because of decisions like allowing Hawkins to depart.
Collins spoke about Hawkins last night, saying “What he did in that clubhouse with some of our young pitchers, you can’t replace it.”
“We were lucky to find a couple of veteran guys in (Kyle) Farnsworth and (Jose) Valverde, but we miss LaTroy Hawkins in that clubhouse.”
Martino lists a few red flags that went unnoticed or were outright ignored by Mets brass. One of them was the doubt surrounding Parnell last fall as he recovered from neck surgery and was still walking around the clubhouse in a neck brace during the final month of the season. ”Might the wisdom of insurance have occurred to someone then?”
After Hawkins signed with Colorado, the Mets made a more expensive run at Grant Balfour, who instead chose a two-year, $12 million deal with Tampa Bay…They are paying Bartolo Colon, who turns 41 in three weeks and is in, um, different physical condition than Hawkins, $20 million over the next two years.
Remind us again why $2.5 million was a crazy, unreasonable, can’t-possibly-do-it number for a player of the same age?
What are your thoughts on Hawkins, the decision-making process that led to him leaving for Colorado, the size and value of his contract, and the comments made by Terry Collins?