If you haven't heard, after the Brewers signed Randy Wolf they announced the signing of LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins, 36, signed a two year deal reportedly worth $7.5 million.
The toughest thing for me to swallow about this signing is just a couple of days ago, signing a reliever was an after thought. After it was confirmed the Brewers lost Mark DiFelice for the season, a void was created in the bullpen. One could argue that void could've been filled internally, but the Brewers decided to go a different route.
By signing Hawkins, the Brewers create a very solid back end of the bullpen. A combination of Hawkins/Coffey/Hoffman is one of the best 7/8/9th inning tandems in the league. Of course, that all rests on the ability of Hawkins.
If Hawkins is able to maintain his recent success of the past two seasons, this is a good signing for the Brewers. After being traded mid-season in 2008 to the Astros, Hawkins was amazing. In the next year and a half, Hawkins posted a 1.71 ERA for Houston. In that period, he struck out 70 batters, while walking just 21 in 84.1 innings. The thing that surprised me the most about his success in Houston was his career was seemingly in the tubes when he got there. He essentially lost all ability to control his pitches and his strikeouts were falling drastically.
I was surprised to see the deal was for two years, rather than one. Hawkins is only getting older. He turns 37 less than two weeks from now. Although his velocity has maintained, it's tough to think he will continue to throw in the mid to high 90's as he approaches 40. While $7.5 million is not going to kill the Brewers, it is a lot to give for a 7th inning reliever.
Essentially, the success of this signing depends on which Hawkins is coming to Milwaukee; pre-Houston Astros, or post.