The Colorado Rockies’ new closer is an old familiar face.
On the first day of spring training Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., 41-year-old LaTroy Hawkins was given the job by manager Walt Weiss.
Hawkins was a member of the Rockies in 2007 when they lost to Boston in the World Series. He saved 13 games last season for the New York Mets.
With fond memories of his earlier one-year stint with the Rockies, Hawkins said it was a “no-brainer” to sign a one-year deal with Colorado.
The Rockies made several offseason moves to bolster a bullpen that had a National League-worst 4.23 ERA last season.
Despite his age, Hawkins is certainly being counted on to handle an important role.
“Hawk is coming in as our closer,” Weiss said. “He did an outstanding job the second half of last season. He was lights out and finished strong in that role for the Mets.”
Colorado’s bullpen has also added Boone Logan, who was signed away from the New York Yankees, and Franklin Morales is beginning his second stint in Colorado after being acquired from Boston.
The Rockies wanted Hawkins to be the closer so Rex Brothers could slide back into the setup role.
It didn’t take long to persuade Hawkins to return to Denver despite offers from other teams that don’t play a mile above sea level in a hitter-friendly park.
“We went to the World Series here. You can’t beat it,” Hawkins said. “It was one of those dream years. The only nightmare was that we didn’t win it all. But that made it a lot easier. There are a lot of good memories from wearing this purple and black.”
Hawkins allowed two hits and one run in five postseason innings for the Rockies, who were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series. He left for the New York Yankees that winter, and his only other postseason appearance was in 2008 with Milwaukee.
Jimenez joins Orioles
A person familiar with the situation says free-agent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a contract, pending a physical.
Several media outlets reported earlier that the sides had reached an agreement, which is reportedly for about $50 million over four years.
Jimenez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 32 starts for Cleveland last season. He turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Indians, so Baltimore would have to forfeit its first-round draft pick (17th overall) to sign him.
The 30-year-old right-hander broke into the majors with Colorado in 2006.