Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are believed to be interested in Colorado Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins. He notes that a deal might be difficult for the Rockies, since they’re looking for players who could help them at the start of next season. Hawkins is 41 years old, but he’s also cheap compared to some of the other players on the market. He’s only making $2.25 M this year, with a $2.25 M option next year and a $250,000 buyout.
Using the reliever trade values I looked at last night, Hawkins would be worth $2.9 M. That’s based on his salary, and 0.5 WAR per year, at $8.5 M per WAR. He’s had a higher value in previous years, including an 0.8 WAR last year. This year he has an 0.3 WAR, which projects to an 0.45 WAR over a full season. I rounded it up, and went with this figure over the 2013 figure due to Hawkins’ age.
The $2.9 M value would be worth a young Grade C pitcher, and maybe a Grade C hitting prospect. The pitcher would likely be a lower level starting prospect. That’s not much to give up for relief pitching help, but I’m not sure how much help Hawkins would be. He’s got a 3.09 ERA in 35 innings this year, but a 4.35 xFIP, which doesn’t indicate the same success going forward. That number would rank behind everyone in the Pirates’ bullpen, and would be worse than what guys like Jared Hughes and Jeanmar Gomez would be expected to do in the middle innings, based on their xFIP totals.