Thursday, December 11, 2008

If Saito is out, Hoffman could be in

With Takashi Saito's status uncertain, the Dodgers could shift their focus to Trevor Hoffman, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Hoffman's contract situation with the San Diego Padres has been ugly to say the least. There's some definite bad blood going on there, despite the fact that he's the all-time saves leader. Their offer was for $4 million, but was yanked off the table for whatever reason. Weird.

The Dodgers have to decide if they want to roll the dice with Saito. He missed 2 months at the end of last season with an elbow injury, obviously a big deal for a pitcher. He tried to come back for the postseason, but was horrible in his only appearance against the Cubs (thankfully the Dodgers were up big). It sure looks like the Dodgers would rather release him and move on, not being fully convinced he'll have the same effectiveness that he had as a closer since 2006.

If Saito is indeed gone, then Hoffman is an interesting option. True, he's 41 and understandably doesn't have his best stuff he once had, but he's still pretty darn good. The start of last season didn't go so well, but he turned it around to go 30/34 in save opportunities.

If anything, he can be a mentor for Jonathan Broxton, as well as play a key role in the late innings, whether it's closing or not. I think it'd be worth a shot at a 1-year deal.

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