Brad Hawpe looking for job with contender following release

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Brad Hawpe was informed before yesterday’s game that it would be his last with the Rockies and the veteran outfielder delivered a pinch-hit single in a 3-2 win before being released just hours later.
Hawpe cleared waivers earlier this week, but the Rockies were apparently unable to find a trade partner and decided to simply eat the $2.2 million remaining on his contract for this season.
They also owe Hawpe a $500,000 buyout for next year, but there was never any doubt they’d choose that over a $10 million option. So, instead of becoming a free agent in November he’s a free agent now.
According to Hawpe the Rockies offered him the choice of remaining on the team as a part-time player for the final six weeks or being released, and he chose the latter in the hopes of latching on with a contender. Hawpe’s production has been well below his norms this season, but his .255/.343/.432 mark is hardly horrendous and he posted an OPS above .875 in each of the previous four seasons.
He’s also a career .274/.369/.470 hitter with an average of 24 homers per 550 at-bats away from Coors Field, so Hawpe would make plenty of sense as a stretch-run pickup for contenders in need of a good left-handed bat. Especially now that the Rockies are on the hook for his whole salary and the cost to acquire him for the rest of the season is around $100,000.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.