Add LaTroy Hawkins to the Mets' rag-tag bullpen mix, and the Mets likely aren't done trying to fix that part of their team.
The 40-year-old signed a minor-league deal Thursday and becomes the latest veteran who will try to earn a spot in the Mets' relief corps. If he makes the roster out of spring training, the right-hander will be in line to make $1 million, plus incentives, and will have pitched for 10 different teams in an 18-year career.
Last season, Hawkins went 2-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 48 appearances with the Angels.
With the recent additions of Scott Atchison, Pedro Feliciano and now Hawkins, the Mets have certainly added experience to the pen and could still look for more.
General manager Sandy Alderson said on SNY last night he was "quite encouraged" by the bullpen, but admitted to looking for another piece or two.
According to sources, Jose Valverde and, yes, Francisco Rodriguez remain possibilities, as does Roy Oswalt — who pitched significantly better for the Rangers in 2012 after being bumped from the starting rotation. The Mets continue to lack a dependable closer — something Alderson acknowledged again last night — since Frank Francisco was awful in his first season and is coming off elbow surgery.
Alderson also reiterated he doesn't intend to give Terry Collins an extension before the manager enters the final year of his contract, although he said he doesn't believe it will become an issue.
"I've talked to Terry," Alderson said. "I think he's comfortable with his situation. And I know that whatever happens this season, there will be a fair evaluation at the end."
As for Hawkins, he hopes his second stint in New York goes better than his first.
He spent part of 2008 with the Yankees and was the first player after Paul O'Neill to wear number 21. Hawkins eventually changed it to 22 after fans constantly booed him for taking O'Neill's number, which has not been issued since.
Mets sign Hawkins
New York Post | Feb 1