Rangers sign Hawpe

The Rangers have signed first baseman-outfielder Brad Hawpe to a Minor League contract. He gives the Rangers some depth at first base in case Mitch Moreland is not ready.
The Rangers have scheduled a Major news conference for Friday night. Wait a minute, that is for Yu Darvish.

But Hawpe is a Fort Worth-area native and a former All-Star, and a terrific person. Here is the Rangers release:

The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has signed free agent first baseman-outfielder Brad Hawpe to a 2012 minor league contract that includes an invitation to major league spring training camp.

Hawpe, 32, spent the 2011 season with San Diego, batting .231 with 4 homers and 19 RBI in 62 games. The left-handed hitter and thrower started 42 games at first base and seven in right field for the Padres, his first season playing primarily at 1B. He was placed on the disabled list on June 21 and was sidelined for the season after undergoing Tommy John ligament transplant surgery on his left elbow on June 26. Hawpe became a free agent on October 30 when his mutual option was declined by San Diego.

Hawpe has spent the off-season continuing his rehab from the surgery. He is expected to be able to take part in full activity as a first baseman in spring training.

Hawpe has a career major league average of .276 with 124 homers and 490 RBI in 893 games with Colorado (2004-10), Tampa Bay (2010), and San Diego (2011), seeing the majority of his action in right field. He produced 20 or more homers in four consecutive seasons with the Rockies from 2006-09 and established career bests with 29 homers and 116 RBI for the National League champions in 2007. Hawpe was selected to his first All-Star team in 2009, when he set a career best with 42 doubles and produced his highest batting average in 2006 with a .293 mark. He was originally selected by Colorado in the 2000 First Year Player Draft.


ready by spring training? … doubtful … probably headed for minors this year

Amazing how a player can have such success early then fade so badly when they should be entering their prime. Reminiscent of Hank Blalock. If Hawpe is a quality individual and a local boy to boot then it’s a good idea to stash him at Round Rock for depth purposes.

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