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Pirates trade rumors: Bucs possibly interested in LaTroy Hawkins

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates "are believed to be interested" in Rockies reliever LaTroy Hawkins, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports.

Let's ignore the fact that Hawkins is a closer (since it's irrelevant) and focus on the quality of Hawkins' pitching. If trading for Joakim Soria was aiming a bit high for what the Bucs need, acquiring Hawkins is aiming too low. Hawkins has a 3.09 ERA this year, but with a 4.35 xFIP and a 4.25 SIERA. He's striking out 4.4 batters per nine innings. He's a 41-year-old replacement-level reliever masquerading as a closer. His contract isn't prohibitive and he shouldn't cost much to acquire, but the Pirates should be able to get a better middle reliever without giving up a whole lot. Hawkins would be depth, and that's it. I guess it would be silly to complain if the Pirates acquired him for nearly nothing, but if they're going to add someone to their bullpen, it should be someone likely to make a difference.