Coming off a surprisingly strong season in Queens, veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins is expected to test the open market once free agency starts, despite mutual interest in a return to New York.
Signed to a minor league contract last winter, the 40-year emerged as a trusted weapon in the back end of the Mets bullpen, eventually filling in for the injured Bobby Parnell as the closer.
In 72 appearances, Hawkins posted a 2.93 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9 while posting 13 saves. As part of New York’s low-risk bullpen rebuild, the 19-year vet embraced his late inning role utilizing his still effective fastball-slider combination to provide stability in the late innings. Earning the respect of manager Terry Collins, the Mets skipper would love to have the journeyman reliever back in uniform next season.
“He’s one of the classic pro’s pros.” said Collins. “He knows how to get ready. He’s willing to help, offers help. If you don’t want it, he tips his hat and moves to the next guy. He does...