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To:  Cubs fans
Subject:  Hawkins Traded to Giants
Date:  5/29/05, 7:41pm
May 28, 2005

The Cubs traded RHP LaTroy Hawkins to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday for pitchers Jerome Williams and David Aardsma, who will both go to the minors. We all know that Hawkins has had all kinds of problems with the Cubs. He blew a few key games down the stretch last year and has given up several late leads early this year. Itís hard to understand, because he was a dominant reliever with the Minnesota Twins during a couple of their division title runs. I think the Cubs were using him in the wrong role, in the ninth inning instead of as a setup man. Then again, after Joe Borowski went down in the first half last year the Cubs really had no other viable option. Maybe a change of scenery will get his career turned around, but Cubs fans will remember him for two things: his ninth inning meltdowns and his feud with Steve Stone.

As for Williams and Aardsma, they both have strong potential but will be of little immediate help to the big league club, even in the wake of the terrible injury to Mark Prior. Williams had a fine rookie year last season but was ineffective early this year before being sent back down to the minors. This trade obviously had to be made, but the question still remains as to how the Cubs will fill Priorís spot in the rotation. The bullpen has been a little better of late but still could use some help. Danny Graves was in a similar situation as Hawkins in Cincinnati; if the Cubs can get him for little money it would be a good chance to take.

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