Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hoffman could go to Dodgers or Brewers

The race to sign Trevor Hoffman appears to have become much clearer. It all comes down to the Dodgers or Brewers as finalists. Both teams need bullpen help, and will absolutely be eager to sign him.

The Dodgers have lost a bunch of people from their 'pen, namely Chan Ho Park, Joe Beimel, and Takashi Saito, and are looking to reload. Currently, Jonathan Broxton is the closer, as he assumed that role at the end of last season. But, is the final solution? That's the unknown right now. Pursuing Hoffman makes me think that the Dodgers are more comfortable leaving Broxton in the 8th inning role for now. I can't say I disagree with that line of thinking, but I certainly wouldn't be uncomfortable seeing him close either.

From what I can tell, the Brewers are probably the favorite. It's been said that Hoffman would like to get to 600 saves (he's currently at 554), and won't sign with a team where he can't close. The Brewers have basically nobody right now in that role. The only guys who's somewhat close is Jorge Julio, but I'd hardly call him a closer.

So the ball is now in Hoffman's court. Both teams made the playoffs last year, but both could lose big free agents (Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees; Dodgers may lose Manny Ramirez). One thing the Dodgers do have going for them is that Hoffman is from Anaheim and lives in San Diego, so LA would be close to home. That helped lure Jeff Kent a few years back, and that worked out nicely. Is it enough to get Hoffman? The next couple of days should tell the story.

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