MILWAUKEE, WI: LaTroy Hawkins #32 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Angels have spent a lot of Wednesday figuring out where they stand on C.J. Wilson. They've also spent a lot of Wednesday figuring out where they stand on Albert Pujols. But still they managed to find time for the little guy, signing veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year contract. Scott Miller:
LaTroy Hawkins, Angels new setup man, gets 1 year, $3 million.
By "little guy" I mean the guy set to make three million dollars. Also LaTroy Hawkins comes in at six feet, five inches and 220 pounds. LaTroy Hawkins isn't really the little guy. According to the Angels' 40-man roster, he is one of the biggest guys.
The 38-year-old Hawkins has one job: replace the departed Fernando Rodney in the bullpen. Hawkins' job is actually to pitch well on a reasonably consistent basis, but replacing Rodney is so much simpler. Hawkins isn't someone who racks up the strikeouts, but he does limit his walks and he exhibits some ground ball tendencies, so the overall package is that of a fairly valuable reliever. He's at least not a guy you'd complain about having. This was intended as praise but now that I read it, it does not come off that way.
LaTroy Hawkins was once a top prospect. In 1999, he started 33 games for the Twins and posted a 6.66 ERA. After that year, he had 99 games of major league experience, and a 6.16 ERA to show for them. Now it's December 2011 and Hawkins just signed a seven-figure deal with the Angels. To give you some perspective on how long Hawkins has lasted, he was drafted in the same round as Tony Womack, who just appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot.