July 28, 2021

How A Minor Signing Led To A Cy Young Winner (MLB Trade Rumors)

Former major league outfielder Brad Hawpe was a more-than-respectable offensive player during his peak with the Rockies. While Hawpe had difficulty early on from his debut in 2004 through the next season, he combined to slash .288/.384/.518 (124 wRC+) with 99 home runs in 2,338 plate appearances from 2006-09. The last of those four years, an All-Star campaign for Hawpe, went down as his final truly effective effort as a hitter. After Hawpe got off a .255/.343/.432 start (94 wRC+) with only seven homers in 2010, the team released him late that August.

Hawpe, then 31 years old, drew a vast amount of interest when he reached free agency amid a pennant race. He ultimately signed a minor league contract with the Rays, who at the time were in a hotly contested fight for AL East supremacy with the Yankees and Red Sox. The Rays did end up with 96 victories and a division crown that season before falling in the ALDS, but their regular-season sucess wasn’t Hawpe’s doing. He debuted with…

Read “How A Minor Signing Led To A Cy Young Winner” at MLB Trade Rumors