SAN DIEGO -- Could free agent Brad Hawpe be a late present under the Christmas tree for the Padres?
The Associated Press reported Friday that the Padres have agreed to a one-year deal for Hawpe to play first base in 2011. The deal is pending a physical.
General manager Jed Hoyer wasn't available for comment.
Hawpe, 31, is a left-handed hitter who spent nearly his entire Major League career in the outfield. He did appear in nine games at first base last season with the Rockies and Rays.
Hawpe is a career .279 hitter who knocked in 116 runs with the Rockies in 2007. He hit .245 last season with nine home runs and 44 RBIs between stints with the Rockies and Rays, a span of 103 games.
The Padres had some interest in Hawpe when he was released by the Rockies on Aug. 24. He eventually signed a Minor League deal with Tampa Bay.
While San Diego's PETCO Park doesn't usually doesn't play well for left-handed power hitters, Hawpe owns a career .281 average and .371 on-base percentage with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 153 at-bats there.
The Padres needed to find a first baseman since trading three-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox earlier this month. The club believes Kyle Blanks, who is working his way back from right elbow surgery, will be ready at some point early next season, though he will need time in the Minor Leagues after missing most of last season.
Anthony Rizzo, one of four players obtained from the Red Sox in the Gonzalez trade, is likely to begin next season with Triple-A Tucson.
Interesting moving from the outfield to the infield? But I guess that would be much easier than trying to make a move from the infield to the outfield!
There is a team I know of--not the Padres--so I won't post the team here that actually has worked with a guy to have him able to play both the infield and the outfield. He isn't even a starter on the team yet, but it could be interesting to see how that might work out!