By Evan Brunell
Brad Hawpe's season is over after undergoing Tommy John surgery, MLB.com reports.
Hawpe has been out since June 18 and hit just .231/.301/.344 in 195 at-bats. Hawpe was supposed to replace part of Adrian Gonzalez's production and keep the seat warm for prospect Anthony Rizzo, but he couldn't get going and became irrelevant once San Diego collapsed and began looking toward next season. As a result, the Padres won't skip a beat without Hawpe.
The first baseman, who played right field for years in Colorado and returned to that spot once Rizzo reached the majors, may be nearing the end of the line. There is a mutual option for 2012 for $6 million, but San Diego will certainly exercise the buyout, pay Hawpe $1 million and move on. It may be tough for Hawpe to get a job next year after two straight poor seasons and may have to settle for a non-guaranteed contract and compete in spring training for a spot. Given he is defensively challenged, his value rests entirely in his bat, which has abandoned the 32-year-old.
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