The Colorado Rockies have made at least one decision on the 2015 roster, keeping veteran closer LaTroy Hawkins around for the 2015 season as reported by Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
#Rockies exercise option on RHP LaTroy Hawkins. He'll be back for 2015. Decision on LHP Brett Anderson could come Saturday.— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) October 31, 2014
Hawkins, 41 (42 in December), served as the Rockies' closer in 2014, amassing 23 saves and a 4-3 record over 54 innings, notching a 3.31 ERA (3.39 FIP, 3.95 xFIP). Despite a VERY shaky September, Hawkins was one of the few bright points in a Rockies bullpen that combined for a 4.79 ERA and a 22-31 record over the course of a disastrous 2014 campaign.
After signing with the Rockies in the 2013 offseason, it was announced that Hawkins would get a shot at being the Rockies' closer, and secured the role for the season after the complete implosion of Rex Brothers.
While Hawkins' peripherals dropped a bit from his 2013 tallies with the Mets (K9 drop from 7.0 to 5.3), he was still solid enough, striking out nearly 2.5 batters per walk allowed. Steamer projections suggest that Hawkins will remain an effective relief pitcher (3.96 ERA, 3.86 FIP), but his success at keeping the ball in the park (5.4% HR/FB) seems likely to fall victim to a bit of nasty regression, especially in Coors Field.
Still, Hawkins will provide the ever-sought Veteran Leadership to the Rockies bullpen, and won't hamper payroll flexibility.
#Rockies @LaTroyHawkins32 will make $2.25 million next season.— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) October 31, 2014
Furthermore, the Rockies have outrighted C/1B/OF Matt McBride from the 40-man roster. McBride, 29, came to Colorado in 2011 as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. He has seen MLB playing time to the tune of .211/.249/.358, 4HR, 17 RBI, although his September numbers from 2014 showed a SLG-heavy .778 OPS (101 wRC+), potentially keeping him in mind for a utility spot. However, McBride saw no time behind the plate in 2014, which was one of the biggest selling points in keeping him on as a bench player, providing bench flexibility with a 3rd catcher on board. Kyle Parker or Ben Paulsen could both fill a 1B/OF utility role, not to mention the other outfield decisions the Rockies still have to make this offseason, leaving McBride as the odd man out.