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Trevor Hoffman wants to pitch, but “the offers are sparse”

Dec 24, 2010, 1:43 PM EDT

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Trevor Hoffman told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that he’s leaning toward wanting to continue pitching in 2011, but McCalvy writes that “the offers are sparse” for the all-time saves leader after he struggled in 2010.

With a 2-7 record and 5.89 ERA in 47 innings Hoffman’s overall numbers were ugly, but he bounced back from a brutal first two months to post a 2.67 ERA, .218 opponents’ batting average, and 20/9 K/BB ratio in 30 innings over his final 32 appearances. And he’s just one season removed from saving 37 games with a 1.83 ERA.

Hoffman told McCalvy that had some conversations with the Diamondbacks early in the offseason, but that window closed when they signed J.J. Putz:

Arizona got hot there for a little bit, but that closed when J.J. signed. It seemed like a pretty good opportunity. I haven’t come to grips yet whether, if something comes along, I want to pitch. That needs to be cleared up first. I’m kind of enjoying being normal and having an offseason. Usually, after only a few weeks you’re beginning the process again of getting your body in tune. I haven’t really engaged in the continual workouts like I’ve done in previous years, and it’s been a little refreshing. I’m hoping it will bring clarity into the decision.

At this point it seems unlikely that any team will give Hoffman an opportunity to enter 2011 as their closer, so the question is whether he wants to be a middle reliever and perhaps whether he wants to battle for a middle relief job on a minor-league contract. He showed enough in the second half to suggest he can still get big-league hitters out at age 43, but coming back would mean entering a season without ninth-inning duties for the first time since 1993.

  1. fribnit - Dec 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    When the conversation comes to Greatest of All Time for closers there are only two names: Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.

    I would Beg Mr. Hoffman to retire if I had the opportunity to do so. Retire while the memory of his brilliance is unclouded by two of three years of mediocrity.

    I would BEG him to retire now while the memories are of him shutting teams down and making great hitter look silly chasing the change-up not of an old man trying to hang on too long.

    • pisano - Dec 24, 2010 at 1:54 PM

      Very well put, as the saying goes “Get out while the gettins good”

    • Mark - Dec 24, 2010 at 2:34 PM

      I’d take Wagner over Hoffman but that’s because I value peak more than longevity.

      • fribnit - Dec 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

        I would argue that Hoffman’s Peak was better and longer than Wagner’s (but it is close)

      • Mark - Dec 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM

        I’m not sure how you can make the argument that Hoffman’s peak was better, when Wagner beats him in ERA+ 187 to 141. Wagner wins in K:BB (3.99 to 3.69), K/9, (11.9 to 9.4), FIP (2.73 to 3.08). Hoffman’s best years were what, 265 and 226 by ERA+? Wagner has 4 seasons better than 265.

        Hoffman’s best stretch was from what, 96-2006? If we go by that his ERA+ jumps to 162 – which is still less than Wagner’s career ERA+.

        I’m not going to disagree on longevity as Hoffman won that. But I don’t see any way to show that Hoffman had a better peak. The only edge I’d give to Hoffman are counting stats like saves and IP, but that proves he had the better longevity than a better peak.

      • b7p19 - Dec 24, 2010 at 4:27 PM

        All I know is as a Padres fan I was lucky to be able to watch Hoffman pitch for so long. ERA+ comparisons are for GM’s and HOF arguments. My memories of watching Trevor mow down batters during those rare Padre wins is much more important than whether he was statistically better than Wagner. Do whatever you want Trevor, you’ve earned that right. Your legacy is safe with your fans.

  2. jobooo - Dec 24, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    How not to solicit offers from MLB teams: Publicly state you haven’t bothered working out at all this offseason.

  3. phukyouk - Dec 24, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Just friggin retire. please see Smoltz, John

  4. fribnit - Dec 24, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Mark,

    you are crunching stats and not looking at effectiveness and that is measured by save %.
    Hoffman: 92.6% of save opportunities converted.
    Wagner: 88.6% of save opportunities converted.

    Give me the guy that got it done

    • fribnit - Dec 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

      Also, in the same time period Hoffman had 7 seasons of 90% or better and Wagner had 4. SO that is some PEAK Hoffman had

  5. bc666 - Dec 24, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Just let it go Hoffman. You’ve had a HOF career. Don’t go out trying to hold on to the past.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 28, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    If you haven’t gotten the game out of your system yet, go play.

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