LaRoche, Hawpe Clear Waivers – Are White Sox Interested? | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

LaRoche, Hawpe Clear Waivers – Are White Sox Interested?

On Wednesday, left-handed power hitters Adam LaRoche and Brad Hawpe cleared waivers and it appears that they will be traded in the coming days.  Although neither the Arizona Diamondbacks nor Colorado Rockies seem close to a deal involving either player, there are several organizations that will undoubtedly express interest.

The fact that LaRoche was placed on waivers should come as no surprise as the Diamondbacks openly expressed his availability, as well as anybody not named Reynolds or Upton, during July’s trading frenzy.  Prior to the 2010 season, the Diamondbacks signed LaRoche to one year, $4.5 million contract that has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011, and would increase to a $9.5 mutual option if he is traded.  The Diamondbacks also have the ability to buy out LaRoche’s contract for $1.5 million.

LaRoche has hit .275 with 21 HR, 77 RBI and .840 OPS in his 2010 campaign – which is right on par with his career average: .273, 27 HR, 93 RBI, .833 OPS.  Considering that he is known for perennially having a torrid August, the Diamondbacks’ asking price may be more than some organizations are expecting.  Based upon the trades that they have made over the past month, the Diamondbacks’ will likely be seeking pitching prospects in return for LaRoche.

The only club that has expressed interest thus far has been the San Francisco Giants, although several American League teams are likely to pursue LaRoche for both 1B and DH- my guess would be the White Sox, Red Sox, Rangers, or Twins.

It was also confirmed that on late Wednesday, 1B/OF Brad Hawpe cleared waivers, and that he would be released on Thursday.  Hawpe, 31, has been a major disappointment for the Colorado Rockies this season after hitting .285 with 23 HR, 86 RBI, .903 OPS in 2009, and being selected to the National League All-Star team.  This season Hawpe has hit .252 with 7 HR, 37 RBI, .771 OPS, and has seen his playing time significantly diminish due to his post All-Star break .642 OPS, as well as his inability to stay healthy- he was on the DL from April 24-May 9 with a ribcage injury and has had 17 other, random games off.  The Rockies prefer an outfield configuration of Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, and Seth Smith, with either Ryan Spilborghs or Eric Young, Jr. serving as their 4th outfielder.

The Rockies are currently paying Hawpe $7.5 million for 2010 and he has a $10 million club option for 2011 that, as we now know, isn’t going to be happening.  He is owed nearly $2.2 for the rest of the season and has a club buyout option for $500,000.  Early rumors indicate that the Rangers might have already expressed interest in Hawpe, and I expect both the White Sox and Red Sox to quickly emerge as suitors, as well.

As I have briefly alluded to, all signs indicate that the Chicago White Sox will express an interest in either Adam LaRoche or Brad Hawpe.  Prior to the 2010 season, Kenny Williams and the White Sox prominently asserted their interest in a left-handed slugger to fill the void left by Jim Thome.  At that time, they were intent on acquiring Johnny Damon; then came rumors about an interest in Luke Scott; in July, we were beaten senseless with the rumor that the White Sox were going to make a blockbuster trade for the Nationals’ Adam Dunn; finally, shortly after the trade deadline had expired, we learned that the White Sox had been on the verge of acquiring Lance Berkman from the Astros, but that Berkman invoked his no-trade clause and blocked a trade to the White Sox.

After Wednesday’s 7-5 road loss to the Twins, the White Sox find themselves 5 games behind the Twins in the American League Central and a game away from being swept in one of their most important series this season – the last time that the Twins held such a lead in the division was June 11th.  Based upon Ozzie Guillen’s comments about Thome, it is evident that the White Sox desire for some left-hand power, ideally as a DH, will be present until the team has been mathematically eliminated from the post-season.

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