"I thought I had a good chance of being back in New York," Hawkins said Thursday afternoon. "I sure did."
Instead, Hawkins accepted a $2.5 million offer from the Rockies that includes a team option for 2015. The Mets did not come close to that offer, despite Hawkins posted a 2.93 ERA and 13 saves in 72 appearances at age 40 last season.
Asked if it was surprising the Mets would not go to that salary figure, Hawkins replied: "I don't know what to say about that. I have much respect for Sandy [Alderson] and the Wilpons. I can't answer that question. ... I told them what [the Rockies' offer] was and the numbers just didn't work out. I've been playing a long time. Nothing surprises me. I'm not surprised by anything. But everybody has decisions to make. They've got business decisions. It's just one of those things where it didn't work out.
"I wish the Mets the best, Sandy the best, the Wilpons the best. They were nothing but great to me. That's for damn sure. So I can't complain. Not at all."
Hawkins said he is particularly grateful to the Mets because he had no other offers during the 2012-13 offseason, when he signed with the Mets. In fact, he planned to retire rather than accept a minor-league deal in Queens. Larry Reynolds, his agent, convinced him to go to spring training with the Mets.
"Everything happens for a reason. The Mets were the only team that offered me," Hawkins said. "So I have nothing but great things to say about Sandy and the Wilpons. They were the only offer I had. The only offer. It's cool. It's part of the process. When people tell you you're about done, it doesn't mean that you're done.
"There was a point where I wasn't going to take a minor-league deal. ... I'm glad I didn't [retire], but I was very close."
With the Rockies, Hawkins is 9-for-9 in save conversions. He suggested part of his success is attributable to unseasonably mild temperatures for Rockies games in April. He has successfully saved 19 straight dating to last season with the Mets.
"I got into a groove last year, and hopefully I can stay in that groove for a whole season," Hawkins said. "It would be nice."