LaTroy Hawkins Signing
This is gonna be a short one, but, today, December 27, 2007, the Yankees and LaTroy Hawkins "reportedly agreed to [a] $3.75 million deal" (Yankees.com). What do I, a Yankees fan, think of this deal? I have somewhat mixed feelings about it. The good feelings that I have, however, are not because of Hawkins' pitching ability. What I feel good about is the fact that it is only a one-year contract worth very little compared to the rest of the team.
If Hawkins turns out to be as inconsistent as the rest of the bullpen, well, who am I kidding, he'll probably keep pitching each day. If he does worse and management decides it made a mistake with Hawkins and wants to cut him, which I think is going to happen, it's an incredibly cheap error to fix. This isn't a Jason Giambi situation where even if the performance is terrible, the team is stuck in a bad contract.
As for the numbers, Hawkins has a 3.35 ERA for his career as a reliever. That's real good. If he can post that number in the AL East, it'll be great. However, the last time he was in the AL East (2006 with the O's), he put up an ERA of 4.48. That gives me some reservations, obviously. What really gets me worried, though, is the numbers that Mr. Hawkins has against AL East competition.
Against the Orioles, Hawkins has an ERA of 6.45 with 89 hits surrendered in 68.1 innings pitched (1.600 WHIP), and a 1.6 K/BB ratio (32 SO, 20 BB). His numbers against Boston are slightly better (5.79 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 1.8 K/BB) but they're nothing special at all. The dominating D-Rays put up good numbers against LaTroy, too. His ERA is 4.43, which is the best of division so far, but his WHIP is a god awful 1.70 against them and his K/BB is the lowest vs. the AL East so far at 1.27. Against Toronto, Hawkins puts up a 4.53 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, and a 1.22 K/BB ratio. Basically, he is terrible against the AL East.
From a baseball and numbers sense, it's a bad signing. From an economic standpoint, which takes precedence in baseball nowadays, it's a decent signing. He's a guy who might be able to surprise a few people (but probably won't) and doesn't cost much money. Like I said earlier, if this turns out to be a mistake, it's a cheap one to correct.