Why Hawkins?

So the Yankees are nearing a 1 year, $3.75 million deal with LaTroy Hawkins.

Hawkins was a dominant setup man for the Twins a couple years ago. He has since had up and down seasons with the Cubs, Orioles, and Rockies.

Is he the answer for the 8th inning? Probably not. However, the key to this deal is the small contract. Vizcaino and others will be demanding three year deals for what is essentially an unpredictable commodity. There are only maybe 15 relief pitchers (and that’s being generous) that can be counted on to be consistently good. Others vary from year to year. It is a lot to ask the Yankees to have middle relief consisting of nothing but Farnsworth and the kids.

So Hawkins is a calculated risk. He’s pitched in the AL East before as well as at high altitude. And maybe he wasn’t perfect, but he was “Eric Gagne in Boston” bad. At best Hawkins is a reliable arm for the 7th inning. At worst, he is a guy who might get knocked around now and then but will provide his 50-60 innings at the backend of the bullpen so you don’t have to burn out young guys with potential.


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