The San Diego Padres are close to signing former Colorado Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe to play first base. Hawpe was an All-Star in 2009, but struggled with his bat in 2010. Hawpe is a career .279 hitter and averages 20+ home runs a season.
Hawpe has only started 8 games at 1B in his major league career. The last time he played the position regularly was in 2002 with the Salem Avalanche (Colorado Rockies High A Minor League team). It will be interesting to see how Hawpe handles the transition as an everyday outfielder to the everday first base. As an outfielder, he did not have the greatest glove, but was kept out there because of his offensive production.
Hawpe will bring his left-handed power to the middle of the Padres lineup. Hawpe will probably see a decrease in offensive production moving from Mile High Stadium to Petco Park. In Petco Park, he has a career .281 batting average and has 5 Home Runs in 42 games. He was used mainly as the number 5 or 6 hitter in Colorado, but in the Padre lineup, he may be used as the number 3 or 4 hitter.
With the signing of Hawpe, the Padres look like they have filled all their off-season needs. The Padres traded for a backup catcher (Rob Johnson) earlier in the week. They also have picked up OF Cameron Maybin, SS Jason Bartlett, P Dustin Moseley, P Aaron Harang and 2B Orlando Hudson this off-season.
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