According to Bob Nightengale or the USA today, the Mets have added another experienced relief pitcher to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Today's pitcher in question is 40-year old LaTroy Hawkins.
The #Mets signed great guy LaTroy Hawkins to minor league deal w Spring Training invite— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 31, 2013
Hawkins threw 42 innings for the Angels in 2012, compiling a 3.64 ERA and a 4.48 FIP in the process. He struck out just 4.93 batters per 9 innings, while walking 2.79 and maintaining a ground ball rate of just over 56%.
He was more effective as recently as 2011 with the Brewers, a season that saw him compile a 2.42 ERA and a very respectable 2.76 FIP. His strike out, walk, and ground ball rates that year were all reasonably close to his 2012 performance, but the big difference in Hawkins that year was his ability to keep balls in the park. That 2011 season with the Brewers saw him valued at 0.8 fWAR, a total that only Bobby Parnell surpassed in the Mets bullpen in 2012.
Signing Hawkins probably isn't anything to get too excited about at this point in his career, but on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, there is essentially no risk involved for the Mets. If he can keep the ball in the park in 2013, he's got a decent chance to provide a little bit of surplus value. That's about all you can really ask for with deals like this one.