Mets Manager Says He Misses LaTroy Hawkins In That Clubhouse

latroy hawkins

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?

mmo

About Joe D 7838 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • The ironic part is that the same scrutiny used to determine that it didn’t make financial sense to bring back Hawk but it DID make sense to sign Colon.

  • Metstheory22

    For some reason it seems the METS thinks it’s not good to resign good relievers once they become free agents. Omar also did it with Darren Oliver.

  • gary s

    It makes sense if they let Hawkins go and replaced him with young arms..But to let him leave and replace him with 2 washed up bums like KW and JV just proves that Alderson is brain dead.

  • gary s

    Should have been KF for Farnsworth, not KW..Dice K no prize either.

  • The fact that they brought in Valverde and Farnsworth makes it look even more baffling. If they said that they were willing to live and die with their young arms, whether as starters or closers, I would have been okay with it. But the willingness to audition the older guys, that are cheaper for a good reason, makes this look pretty bad to me.

  • HobokenMetsFan

    This decision made absolutely no sense to me, and neither did Frank Frank or any other reliever that Sandy has brought in.

    I’m not a Sandy lover, nor am I a Sandy apologist, but I will say that his moves (or non-moves) on the FA market scream to me that he either has no idea what he’s doing, or Princess Jeff is still meddling. Either way its no good.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Well, we can all start complaining about the Mets not signing Hanrahan now.

  • RyanF55

    Colon had an unreal year last year…18 wins, ERA slightly above 2…I don’t think 10 mil a year was that unreasonable for a 41 year old that’s been fat forever. His size hasn’t mattered for 15 years. Hawkins had a solid year last year but I can’t get crazy for the Mets thinking he caught lightning in a bottle for one season. The issue is they did nothing beyond Farnsworth and Valverde to replace him. 2.5 mil isn’t an insane number and I agree that failing to make these smaller but important moves may be the difference in a wild card or not, but I think Hawkins is being portrayed a little more valuable than he really is. Maybe his impact in the clubhouse was that important…idk. It wasn’t enough to evoke a winning season last year, I know that.

  • CyYout

    Yes, Martino, Hawkins is the reason the Mets won’t get that second wildcard. Do us all a favor and go stand in the stupid corner with Puma. You guys can make fat jokes and giggle like little schoolgirls.

  • MetsfanInParadise

    One would think Sandy the Marine would have the mental toughness to stand firm and hew to one path or the other–the “develop the talent” path or the “try to win now” path. I can only think of 2 possibilities–either he’s just doing what the people who pay him are telling him to do (I don’t buy that because what’s the point of paying for a GM if you’re not going to rely on his knowledge?) or hubris–he believes he’s smart enough to do both at the same time. Got news for you, Sandy–IT’S NOT WORKING! I have no argument with his refusal to sign some of the higher-priced free agents over the last couple of years-are you listening, Stephen Drew?- but some of his decisions are downright bizarre. Agreed, the Farnsworth/Valverde signings could be considered “Plan C,” A & B being retention for a modest price of the guy who did a good job for you and is in great condition, and giving your prospects a shot.

  • Since day one I’ve this off-season I;ve stated this will hang over Alderson’s head. Totally misjudged the market on his signing. Thought it was too much, he left quick and now he has to pay twice as much.

  • MetsFAN660

    Greatest. Pitcher. Ever.

  • Eyeball

    Is Frank Frank still out there?

  • HobokenMetsFan

    I disagree. Why not have the insurance? The mets didn’t have to sign Hawkins to close, they could have signed him to set up. Especially because the guy we traded for to set up (and potentially close) has a history of control problems and is hitting the slots in Vegas right now.

    It’s a situation of the “best laid plans…”

  • Bill Buckner

    The Wilpons saved $2 million by going with Valverde/Farnsworth over Hawkins. Thank goodness.

  • Jgreen

    And now we missed Hanrahan also. Great move Sandy

  • Eyeball

    Terry: “I’m a mess without you. I miss you so damn much! I miss being with you. I miss being *near* you. I miss your laugh!
    I miss your scent…
    I miss your musk… “

  • Hanrahan wasn’t really a good fit for the team. We don’t need someone that is still a month away from contributing and will probably have growing pains. We need people that can step up now. It works for the Tigers because you can stash him for the playoffs.

  • metsman

    Give me a break, we are talking about relief pitching; in another month this could be completely turned on its head; there are plenty of things to be angry at Sandy about. ..this isn’t
    One of them. The cardinal sin of relief pitching is overspending and I’m still pissed about Rauch and Fransisco and spending our whole offseason budget on two complete losers.

  • Waz0787

    Thanks alderson

  • Jgreen

    He might not be ideal choice but he was the best choice in the market. I am just disappointed that Sandy didn’t even tried to bid him.

  • mattbalasis

    The scenario for regretting not signing Hawkins involved both Parnell going down and Black failing to meet expectations … unfortunately both of those things happened, and now the Mets look cheap and foolish. They could have signed K-Rod but again didn’t and for the same reasons.
    If you ask SA he’ll point out that they have some nice depth in the minors, which is true.
    I still think not signing Hawkins was a mistake, however, because he was such a good influence on the youngsters — the impact he had on Germen for instance teaching him that quick pitch.
    I also think the article is misleading … the bullpen has not been a problem since the first week of the season, it’s been a strength … so I don’t really understand what Martino is talking about.
    Right now I’m not really worried about the pen …

  • HobokenMetsFan

    because of this quote in the article:

    “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.”

    That’s why I think he would have chosen to stay in NY over COL.

  • TPT

    VINDICATION AT LAST…… its exactly what ive said everyday on here since SA let him walk…HE WANTED TO STAY AND THE YOUNG GUYS LOVED HIM..JOE D thank you for the article you and are have been on the same page with this from the get go ..

  • TPT

    2,5 million is alot of money? hahahaha in this day and age? and what price do you put on a guy that our young pitchers looked up to and learned not only about pitching but how to act like a major leaguer? and hes a physical speciman without PEDS sorry i disagree

  • TPT

    except he wasnt the closer and wouldnt have been the closer this year if Parnell stayed healthy..he only closed last year when Parnell went down and had 13 saves and a 2.35 era and he did what ever was asked of him so get your facts straight ok?

  • Andrew Herbst

    I had a feeling not resigning Hawkins was going to back to hurt us. I didn’t think Parnell was going to be healthy. And now we’re stuck with Valverde and Farnsworth instead of a solid veteran like Hawkins.

  • metsman

    Who said 2.5 is a lot of money? You are twisting my argument and putting words in my mouth. Comission is worse than omission when it comes to relievers; that was my point. It’s preferable to let one get away then to be stuck wasting money on crap….but you knew Hawkins was going to be good I’m sure because he closed a handful of meaningless games last September. It’s a total crap shot, same as it would be bringing up deGrom or Montero to pitch out of the pen. This Monday morning QBing is completely transparent and indulgent….and while the stories of his impression on the young staff told through the eye’s of Mr.Magu are sweet, talent is the name of the game and you can through in luck too when it comes to relief pitching.

  • rubagreta

    Oliver had seven amazing productive years after the Mets dumped him. 50 to 75 innings every year, five ERA’s of 2.88 or lower. Highest ERA was last year (at age 42) at 3.86. Averaged about $3M per year (only $1.5M and $2.0M in the first two years). Another stupid Mets mistake.

  • Spam for Tea

    Bartolo Colon gives you at least twice the pitcher as Hawkins….at least as far as gross pounds goes. After watching Colon last night, the wisdom of these choices is utterly lost on me.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Dont forget the trade for R. Ramirez, Lyon, Atchinson, and the dude who nailed Bourne and was released the next day (I cant remember his name).

  • Taskmaster4450

    So you feel that even though he wasnt a great fit, you feel the Mets should make a move just to make a move.

  • Metropolitan

    I think people are getting too carried away with some journeyman reliever

  • Metropolitan

    Collins likes Latroy because he threw Valdespin under the bus

  • Taskmaster4450

    How do you figure that?

    Velverde is making $1M and Farnsworth needs to make at least the vet min of $700K although I wouldnt be surprised if he is $1M himself.

  • Taskmaster4450

    This is so reminiscent of the Scott Hairston deal last year. Many were complaining that the Mets/Alderson were too cheap to even sign up for a mere $4M a year. Like Hawkins, Hairston did a good job for the Mets and the role he was in NYC to fulfill. That being said, many wanted him back because the Mets had “what OF”.

    Of course, nobody said a word about Hairston since he went on to hit .191 last season. Hawkins is off to a good start and having a good year with the Rockie so people want to point out that it was a mistake not to resign him. Would the consensus be the same if he wasnt doing so well? I highly doubt it. Just like with Hairston, it wouldnt even be mentioned.

    I always liked LaTroy going back to his days with the Cubs. However, I dont agree with, post steroid, signing guys who are in their 40s or, depending upon the position, late 30s. That is why I was against Beltran even though he wouldnt sign with the Mets. Didnt want Arroyo. And am dumbfounded at the signing of Colon. We are entering the era where most guys are going to be done by 35. This means the ones who are near or at 40 are really on borrowed time.

  • Jgreen

    I feel he is good fit for Mets after June, when you have no idea when Papa and Farnsworth licks their gas. I just agreed that he will not be a factor until he is completely healthy.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Collins like anyone who is in the majors more than 10 years.

  • Letsgomets

    Ok Sandy, calm down….we know you would never waste money on a crap reliever (see Francisco, Carrasco, etc….). No one here is impugning your integrity…and oh by the way, it’s only Monday morning quarterbacking if the criticism comes after the fact. Plenty of people questioned the decision not to re-sign Hawkins at the time. (Oh….and it’s Mr. Magoo)

  • Bill Buckner

    It was my understanding that both guys signed for vet minimum, but I was wrong – Farnsworth resigned for vet minimum after not making the team out of ST, and Valverde signed for $1 mil. Whether it was $2 million saved or $1 million saved, the point is that Valverde/Farnsworth were chosen over Hawkins due the fact that they were cheaper…

    Neither one got $2.5 mil individually and the two together aren’t even making $2.5 mil barring performance incentives so the FO chose this two headed monster over Hawkins to save money

  • Suilebhain

    That’s not Sandy, it’s more likely Jay Horowitz.

  • TJ

    Matt,
    Parnell had a serious surgery and Black, while he can throw hard, was not a top 10 prospect for the Pirates, is not a top ten prospect for the Mets, has a history of wildness, and only performed well in 10+ innings of Sept. MLB games. It is not like it was a long shot that both of those scenarios presented themselves.
    As proven again with Hanrahan, Alderson is simply a phoney when he touts 90 wins and payroll flexibility. Yes, in any one instance, an argument can be made for passing on Hawkins, Hanrahan, or the next guy. However, the pattern is crystal clear until actions prove otherwise.
    Lastly, don’t be fooled by a couple of weeks of good pitching by the pen. Farnsworth is 7th inning material at best, Valverde is lucky that he is in the majors and likely won’t be by the end of the season, and Torres is very likely to level off some. Germen is decent as a pre-8th inning piece, Familia is still learning and not trustworthy with the game on the line, and Rice has done a decent job as a LOOGY. Yes, DiceK is a wildcard, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on him for the season. This bullpen is a big problem that needs an legit backend arm to be added from somewhere.

  • TJ

    Off last season, virtually everyone in MLB considered Hawkins more reliable than Valverde and Farnsworth. Hence, the guaranteed money for LaTroy vs. the minor league deals for the other two. This was simply another Alderson miscalculation, there really is no way to defend it. It didn’t make sense at the time, and it doens’t bake sense now.