Hawpe Not On Market

October 18, 2009 | 10:58 pm | 29  

Brad Hawpe found himself watching more than playing in the post-season for the Rockies. He, however, remains a key part in the Rockies long-range planning.

Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd has been surprised by media reports that the Rockies will look to trade Hawpe, a 2009 All-Star, who struggled in the second half of the season.

He started Game 1 of the NL Division Series against Philadelphia, but was limited to one pinch-hit appearance in the final three games.

“The Rockies understand the value of Brad Hawpe on the field and off,” said O’Dowd. “We have no desire to move him at all. He has leadership ability and a commitment to the approach we feel is important for a team’s success.”

Hawpe hit .284 with 23 home runs and 86 RBI, ranking fourth on the Rockies in average, third in home runs and tied for second in RBI. He, however, hit only .209 with 10 RBI in September.

There is no financial push to move Hawpe, who is signed for $7.5 million in 2010. He had a $10 million option for 2011, but there is no buyout.

With an abundance of left-handed hitters, there has been speculation that Hawpe would likely be dealt. That, however, would only be the case if the Rockies felt they received a solid return, such as the Matt Holliday trade last off-season.

Oakland sent the Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, closer Huston Street and left-handed pitcher Greg Smith.

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29 Comments »

  • Townie | October 18, 2009 | 11:59 pm

    Thanks for the information on this. The Hawpe situation is one I’ve been thinking about a lot the past week, especially with the people here in Chicago wondering about his availability.

    If the Rockies are looking for a Holliday type return for Hawpe then it’s about 99.6% certain he’ll be back in to start 2010. I have no problem with that at all, but if they got an offer that approached the Holliday deal, I hope they’ll think it through before making the decision.

  • Redhawk | October 19, 2009 | 7:50 am

    But he just doesn’t fit. Hawpe isn’t one of the top 3 OF’s the Rockies currently have on their roster. CarGo, Fowler, Smith are all younger, cheaper, and better, both on defense (Hawpe’s range has really dropped) and at the bat. If a team can’t use you in the post season, that shows where a guy’s value is.

    To me this is just posturing by the Front Office to drive up Hawpe’s price tag.

  • Brian H | October 19, 2009 | 7:57 am

    A team like the Braves would give up a LOT for Hawpe… Holliday like really.

  • Rockies Chick | October 19, 2009 | 8:34 am

    I have to agree with Redhawk. Just where is Hawpe going to fit with 3 players ahead of him on the OF chart. I would rather retain Spilly for the Utility OF and his right handed bat instead of holding onto Hawpe and have another season of highs and lows at the plate. Package him with Corpas to get a strong right handed bat and/or Helton’s future replacement.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 19, 2009 | 9:45 am

    Why do people think that other teams always want the Rockies players with the big contracts? Hint: if you’re not pleased at Corpas’s performance and the $6.5 million he’s due for 2010-2011, other teams probably aren’t, either.

  • Cat | October 19, 2009 | 9:49 am

    I’m not so sure its posturing. Has O’Dowd typically postured this way in the past to drive up trade offers? His comments seem sincere.

    And I have rarely, if ever, defended O’Dowd.

  • ProgMatinee | October 19, 2009 | 10:09 am

    I like Hawpe. A LOT. However, you have to improve other areas of the club if we are serious about not only making the playoffs but actually winning the World Series.

    To improve either the 2B position or the pitching staff, Hawpe would probably give the Rockies the most bang for the buck.

    On the other hand, keeping Smith as the 4th OF protects the Rox if either Gonzales or Fowler have a sophmore slump. However, I really think they need to play Smith frequently. He should not be a bench player, IMO he has the potential to be an absolute STAR maybe even bigger than Stewart.

    My biggest worry is the Rox keep Hawpe and trade Smith or Gonzales and Hawpe turns into Garrett Atkins in a few years and he becomes a nontender case. That would be disaster!

  • Karl | October 19, 2009 | 10:13 am

    Does anyone know whom provides the content for the Rockies official site? I ask that because if O’Dowd is saying one thing, then why does the Rockies ‘official’ site say another. I am assuming that mlb runs the site and just gets team content from the Rockies through sources. But I ask this in relation to if it’s really an official site, then why are their conflicting messages?

  • Matt | October 19, 2009 | 10:24 am

    I’ve been trying to figure out what the Rox will do with this whole situation. Smith, Dex, Cargo represent the best outfield for the Rox offensively and defensively. However, Hawpe has to start if you retain him for $7.5 million meaning Smith/Dex alternate playing time. Would you really want to sit Smith/Dex that often? I doubt it. Doesn’t it make sense to have Murton or Spilly be the 4th outfielder and trade Hawpe? Or the Rox could try to acquire someone like Johnny Gomes. I actually believe EY could step in as the 5th outfielder when not playing 2nd giving Tracy a lot of flexibility. It seems to me like dumping some salary (if there is equity) and solidifying the right handed bat off the bench seems like the way to go.

  • Marcus | October 19, 2009 | 10:41 am

    If the Rockies choose not to deal Hawpe they need to figure out before the trade deadline if he can play against right and left handed pitching. I really hated how much weaker the lineup was against left handed pitchers. I also think that Tracy should have started Hawpe against Hammels and Lee, oh well, I guess that is history.

  • Marcus | October 19, 2009 | 10:45 am

    If they choose to keep Hawpe and continue to platoon him, they need to sign someone right handed that is much better than Spilly. Jermaine Dye would be a great right handed sub.

  • ProgMatinee | October 19, 2009 | 11:25 am

    I like Murton and/or Spilly as the right handed outfield options. I don’t think they need to add anything there. The right handed bat needs to come from a utility 1B/3B option…presuming Atkins is gone. Wonder what Jeff Baker’s status is?

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 19, 2009 | 1:49 pm

    “Does anyone know whom provides the content for the Rockies official site? I ask that because if O’Dowd is saying one thing, then why does the Rockies ‘official’ site say another.”

    Do you mean news stories by Thomas Harding? MLB.com runs the site; Harding is its Rockies beat reporter. AFAIK he has to get his info from sources like any other reporter. It’s not Pravda.

  • Agbayani | October 19, 2009 | 1:51 pm

    Tracy’s headline could just as easily have been: “Rockies Willing to Part With Hawpe if the Price is Right.”

    Really, isn’t that what O’Dowd said? Problem is that Hawpe’s residual value over the 7.5 million he’s due next year is pretty trivial. You’d basically have to give him away for a low-level prospect ot two. But if keeping him means not upgrading anywhere else, then it’s obvious to me that that’s what you need to do.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 19, 2009 | 1:56 pm

    “[Smith] should not be a bench player, IMO he has the potential to be an absolute STAR maybe even bigger than Stewart.”

    Not sure if you’re comparing to Stewart’s performance thus far, or to his potential.

    If the former, that shouldn’t be difficult since Stewart hasn’t really played to his potential for more than a couple weeks at a time.

    I doubt the latter. Smith just turned 27; unless you already consider him a “STAR,” that would suggest his star potential isn’t that great. Smith would accomplish a lot (basically replicate Hawpe) just by extending his 2009 performance to 550-600 PA’s, including at bats against lefties.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 19, 2009 | 2:05 pm

    “Wonder what Jeff Baker’s status is?”

    It’s kind of funny, I was thinking in the 2nd half they could have used him, esp. considering Atkins’s bat didn’t come back. He could have spelled Barmes, too, though perhaps Tracy wasn’t going to remove Barmes for anyone.

    I think Baker is arb-eligible this offseason for the 1st time, but I’m pretty sure the Cubs will hang on to him.

  • ProgMatinee | October 19, 2009 | 2:20 pm

    I quess what I mean is I see Smith as an all around stud .325, 25+ hr, 80+ RBI player while I fear Stewart will be a .250, 40 hr guy at best.

    Maybe its that Stewart was being hyped so much but I was expecting our own Ryan Braun and I think he’s far from that (though obviously a good fielder). Yet Smith came from virtually out of nowhere (in 07) and has proven himself to be a player.

  • Karl | October 19, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    Thanks Mike for the clarification. Going to be a fun off season. Lots of hope for 2010.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 19, 2009 | 5:57 pm

    ProgMatinee, just as an aside, I had Smith ranked No. 16 in Rockies organization in my Baseball America Top 30 prior to the 2007 season.

    The scouting report, in part, read: Smith finally showed the energy that scouts were concerned dint’ exist. He grasped the need to play hard all the time and treat the game as a business. Lasik surgery also was the key for Smith, who got rid of the contacts and glasses that he was never comfortable wearing. He has a pure hitter’s swing and should get better as a hitter at the higher levels when pitchers are around the plate. He has the power to hit the ball out of the park.”

    The top 15 that year were 1. Tulowitzki; 2. Morales; 3, Jason Hirsh; 4, Fowler;5, Stewart; 6, Jimenez; 7, Reynolds; 8, Iannetta; 9, Baker; 10, Chaz Roe; 11, Corpas; 12, Morillo; 13, Koshansky; 14, Herrera, and 15, Hector Gomez. That’s a stronger top 15 than most organizations so being 16th wasn’t a slap in the face.

  • snel7083 | October 19, 2009 | 10:32 pm

    I keep waiting to see that Odowd and tracy are signed. How long will that take????

    s

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 20, 2009 | 5:28 am

    snel7083, as posted on this site on Monday, the deals will be finalized this week. It’s just a matter of finalizing details. There should be no hang up.

  • ProgMatinee | October 20, 2009 | 7:12 am

    Thank you for the info Tracy. That was a deep top 15. About half of those guys have made a truly significant impact to the Rox over the past 3 years.

  • Rockpile | October 20, 2009 | 5:06 pm

    If the Rockies hold on to Hawpe as O’Dowd says, I don’t think the outfield would be overcrowed with Hawpe, Smith, Dex and Cargo all fighting for playing time. All four can split time.

    Also, to get Hawpe some at bats, I would use him as my backup first baseman occasionally to rest Helton. Hawpe does have experience at first base because he played it in the minors. And I assume the current 1b backup Garrett Atkins will be gone, so those at bats can go to Hawpe. If it were up to me, I’d start Hawpe 10-15 games a year at 1b to rest Helton.

  • rumpus008 | October 20, 2009 | 6:12 pm

    The Rockies need a big fat bat — three of the four teams still in it have legit power in the middle of their lineup. I’d like to see Tulo in the three hole, not clean-up. Who cares about Hawpe. He isn’t the issue. The Rox won’t get over the hump without a legit, right handed 40 HR, .300 avg hitter in the four hole. Stewey isn’t it . . . plus he’s a lefty.

    This team is a breath away from a WS Championship but O’Dowd is going to have to give up some of his prized home-grown possessions to get there.

    I’d give up Stewart, Chacin or Rogers and Hawpe for Ryan Zimmerman and a solid Single A prospect. This would clear Hawpe’s salary for more bullpen help, open the outfield for Smith and add a young, heavy hitter who’s solid defensively.

    Risky? Yes, but the move would show O’Dowd’s got the cajones to try to push this team to the top.

  • Agbayani | October 20, 2009 | 7:31 pm

    Umm, Ryan Zimmerman’s not going anywhere. Especially not for that package.

    Ian Stewart is interesting. Not so much the next George Brett (and no, I didn’t really expect that). Russell Branyan with good 3B defense? I could live with that — that’s actually a pretty valuable player. Dan Szymborski at baseballthinkfactory has his top comp as Cory Koskie. Assuming his career is a bit longer, I could also live with that.

    Tracy, thanks for the 2007 write-up blurb on Seth Smith. Do you think that his breakout was primarily a function of a renewed commitment/training discipline? That could explain his relatively late blooming.

    If Hawpe stays around, I do like the idea of using him at 1B to spell Helton. That way you effectively plug in Smith in the batting order for Helton (all 4 outfielders playing at once). That’ll probably be better than whatever bargain veteran right handed corner man we can find.

  • Dan | October 21, 2009 | 11:54 am

    Having Hawpe as the 4th outfielder doesnt make any sense, especially at his salary for a team always complaining about the payroll. What they need is a RH power hitter,not a lefty like Hawpe that strikes out way to much. Why not use his value to improve the team instead of having him ride the bench. Was that the old Wyoming Cowboy I saw down at the AFA game last saturday? You know, the game your Cowboys didnt show up for!

  • ProgMatinee | October 21, 2009 | 5:00 pm

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting Hawpe rides the bench in 2010. IMO the playoff games were not the preferred situation based on a season’s worth of merit. The truth was Hawpe was in a slump and both Fowler and Gonzales were doing well, so they couldn’t bench them, so Hawpe got the bench to allow for Spilly and Smith to show something. Had we faced Pedro in game 4 or any other right hander I’m 100% sure that Hawpe would have played and Smith would have been in for Fowler.

    So I don’t think those 3 games were at all a sign of what the starting line up would be on opening day 2010.

    Now, personally I would support a Hawpe trade for the right parts (I don’t mean prospects, more like a seasoned veteran pitcher or a stud 2nd basemen like Dan Uggla) but that is in no way saying I think he deserves to be canned for nothing. I just happen to think a Hawpe trade would catch the best return, Seth Smith wouldn’t get what I perceive as his value in return unless packaged with others.

  • Liz | October 22, 2009 | 11:11 am

    I really do not have anything more to say than has been said, but, I want to thank Tracy for this Web Site and for all the information. I am a Hawpe fan do not give him up for nothing if we got a deal like we did with Holiday okay but otherwise keep him.

  • Ham | October 22, 2009 | 11:03 pm

    Tracy, Has there been any talk about signing Carlos Gonzalez to a long term contract like the Rockies did for Tulo? CarGo seems to be the next big superstar, and although I understand the team has his rights for the next 5(?) years, might this be a prudent thing to do? Or, would all bets on this be off, since his agent is Scott Boras. Your comments on this situation and/or possibility would be appreciated.