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Brad Hawpe to the Tigers makes some sense

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I saw a report last night that said the Tigers might be interested in Brad Hawpe. I scoffed. Joe Galea messaged me "It's like everyone that would have been worthwhile back in 2007" (Come to think of it, I think I argued for trading for Hawpe at the old blog in 2007.) But now that I think about it, it's not the craziest thing in the world.

A 31-year-old outfielder, Hawpe isn't having the best season of his career, to be sure. His wOBA* is "just" .340 right now, after putting up seasons of .384, .379, .389, .376 the past four years. I say "only" .340 because on the Tigers, that would make him the fifth best batter in the lineup. Actually, if you are willing to admit even when Brennan Boesch gets out of his slump he's not going to put up the same .379 again and Austin Jackson's .353 is driven by an incredible, luck-driven six weeks, Hawpe's probably better.

*Learn more about wOBA here.

While it would be folly to expect Hawpe to get back to the .389 territory anytime soon at this stage of his career, there's certainly good seasons left in him. The 2011 season can be had at the cost of a $10m option ($500k buyout). He's not going to wow in the outfield, but when you consider the alternatives in Detroit that doesn't particularly matter much to me.

Another thing that it gives the Tigers is options. While I think Magglio Ordonez will be back next season, there's no guarantee he will be. As Big Al pointed out earlier in the week, there's no guarantee the Tigers are going to be able to go out and grab some big-name outfielder either. Having the option to look around at the market a bit and decide whether to keep Hawpe around at an acceptable cost is a nice bird-in-the-hand.

Of course it all depends on the cost. I haven't heard much what the asking price for Hawpe is. If the Rockies want a top-line prospect it's probably not worth it. But at the right mid-level prospect price, it could be a move with an eye to the present and an eye to the future.