Former All-Star Brad Hawpe was in camp with the Pirates this spring on a minor league deal, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that he was granted his outright release this morning.
Hawpe batted .288/.384/.518 with a .902 OPS with the Rockies from 2006-2009, but his career has veered off track since. After making stops with the Rays and Padres, he underwent Tommy John surgery in August of 2011 and played exclusively with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate last season. Winning a roster spot with the Pirates was always a long shot given their depth at first base, but Hawpe failed to impress this spring, batting just .139 (5-for-36) with 18 strikeouts in 16 games.
Now 33 years old, Hawpe acknowledged to Biertempfel that the game may have passed him by.
That might be the most depressing quote I have heard all spring. But I suppose it’s a realization most players have at some point.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.