LaTroy Hawkins enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career as a member of the Mets in 2013 and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the veteran reliever is “likely” to return to the club for his age-41 season next year.
The Mets are one of two teams who have contacted Hawkins thus far. While no numbers have been discussed, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has placed a call to his representatives, which one source says is a sign that the club is “serious” about getting something done soon.
Hawkins had to settle for a minor league deal last winter, but he’s in line for a nice payday after posting a 2.93 ERA and 55/10 K/BB ratio over 70 2/3 innings this season. While he ended up saving 13 games after Bobby Parnell went down with a neck injury, he’d ideally slot back into a set-up capacity in 2014.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.