Smilin' Ken Rosenthal says LaHawk is off to Milwaukee, pending a physical, in a two-year deal, which is exactly what Ed Wade did not want to hand out.
Expect that Rafael Soriano deal to come together even more quickly. The Astros just shed about $12 million with the departures of LaHawk and Valverde.
Jayson Stark, among others, is reporting the Hawkins deal is worth $7.5m over two years.
Honestly, if the Astros had committed $7.5 million to LaHawk, I wouldn't be very happy. But what happened with the negotiations? Let's take a look:
November 1: LaHawk says he's waiting to see what happens with the new manager before making a decision about free agency.
November 6: Ed Wade: "We have indicated to them we would like to have LaTroy back, but there is no time table."
November 19: Astros have an offer on the table to LaHawk.
December 1: Astros decline arbitration to LaHawk.
December 2: Astros make offer in the neighborhood of $4m
December 2: Wade lists re-signing his free agent trio of LaHawk, Valverde, and Tejada as a top priority. He didn't sign any of them.
December 5: Rockies make signing LaHawk a priority
December 8: Braves are reportedly interested in LaHawk
December 8: LaHawk arrives in Indianapolis
December 8: Wade not interested in a multi-year deal.
9:47am, December 9: First time Brewers are reported with interest, by Bob Nightengale
11:24am, Dec 9: "Hawkins to Milwaukee" rumors are "news to" Hawkins
11:40am, Dec 9: Wade "doesn't feel the need to talk to" Hawkins. LaHawk knows where he is.
11:41am: Brewers listed as "front-runner"
Then he signs.
I'll give credit to Ed Wade for not over-paying for Hawkins. He didn't want to give him a multi-year deal, and he didn't. The Astros had an offer on the table, basically as soon as the season was over, and the Brewers just committed to him until the end of 2011. If they're comfortable with that, that's fine. Remember, Hawkins signed his $3.5m deal last year before the economy tanked, and it turned out to be an awful lot of money for an 8th-inning guy. It would have been nice to get some draft picks out of it, but Hawkins may have accepted arbitration, and been given a handy raise. So, let's see what Wade can do with the back end of the bullpen now. He has $13m he didn't have at the beginning of the week.