I never, ever want LaTroy Hawkins to stop pitching. In no small part because he’s one of the few guys in Major League Baseball who is older than me. But also because he’s just really great. There is literally nothing not to like about the guy. He was a failed starter who, in the 90s, you might have thought you’d never see again and then all he did was rattle off about 15 straight seasons of great relief pitching.
Are there better relievers? Of course, there always have been. But he’s always been solid, at times much better, and he has shown no signs of slowing down. He just completed a season in which he posted a 3.31 ERA in 57 games (130 OPS+) and 23 saves. In Colorado of all places. That’s nice work.
His last appearance of the year was Saturday. It was his 1000th. That puts him at 16 on the all-time list for pitchers. He’s two behind Rich Gossage. He could move up to, I dunno, eighth next year if he’s healthy.
The Rockies have him a gift for his 1000th game:
Keep rolling along, LaTroy. For all of us old dudes.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.