The Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.25 million contract with reliever LaTroy Hawkins, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal is pending a physical, and also includes a $2.25 club option or $500K buyout for 2015, bringing the guaranteed value to $2.5 million.
Hawkins previously pitched for the Rockies in 2007, totaling a 2-5 record and 3.42 ERA in 62 appearances.
Nightengale reports that Hawkins will become the team's closer, pushing Rex Brothers and Chad Bettis back to setup roles. The Rockies have been prioritizing bullpen help this winter, and have also shown interest in Grant Balfour, Jose Veras, Joe Smith and Brian Wilson in addition to Hawkins.
While the signing of Hawkins seems to erase the possibility of Colorado signing Wilson or Balfour, they could still make a run at either Veras or Smith for late-inning bullpen help.
Hawkins, who turns 41 in December, was one of the most popular bullpen arms on the bullpen market. According to Nightengale, the veteran picked the Rockies over the Braves, Mets and Indians, who were also seriously interested in signing him. As Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported two weeks ago, as many as seven teams showed interest in Hawkins.
After signing a minor league deal with the Mets last winter, Hawkins posted a 3-2 record with a 2.93 ERA and 13 saves in 70.2 innings over 72 appearances. Over nineteen major league seasons with ten different teams, Hawkins is the owner of a career 68-90 record and 4.37 ERA in 943 appearances.
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