Troy Renck of the Denver Post has been all over the Brad Hawpe news front since he was placed on waivers last week. And now Renck has a breaking report.
The Post columnist and beat writer heard from sources Wednesday that Hawpe is going to be released after tonight’s game against the Dodgers and made available to all interested major league teams as a free agent.
The 31-year-old Hawpe has posted an ugly .642 OPS and two home runs since the All-Star break, but part of his struggles can be equated to a lack of playing time and he should be rejuvenated in joining a playoff race. If he joins a playoff race.
Renck believes that the Rangers and Red Sox will show interest, but look for a good helping of teams to jump in on the negotiations. He’s not exactly a versatile player — and probably needs to be limited to a corner outfield or first base job — but Hawpe still has great power potential and a .280/.374/.492 career batting line.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.