SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres finalized a $3 million, one-year deal with Brad Hawpe on Monday.
Hawpe, who will switch from outfield to first base, will make $2 million in 2011. The deal includes a $6 million mutual option for 2012 with a $1 million buyout.
Hawpe will replace three-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez, who was traded to the Boston Red Sox in December. Hawpe has mostly been an outfielder in seven big league seasons, with a handful of starts at first base. He was released by Colorado in August and signed by Tampa Bay.
Hawpe said his natural position is first base. But when he came up to the big leagues, Todd Helton was playing first for Colorado.
"It was either stay in Colorado Springs or learn how to play the outfield, so I did everything could to play outfield as long as I could," Hawpe said during a conference call.
Hawpe said he was looking for a job as a first baseman.
"If it came down to it that my only option was playing outfield, I'd do it, but I felt that I'd love to get an opportunity to play first base," he said.