It has been reported that Trevor Hoffman will decide which team he will sign with in the next 24-48 hours. Will the Dodgers sign Trevor Hoffman, or will it be the Milwaukee Brewers that will obtain the services of San Diego's former closer?
The Dodgers would seem like that they are not the ideal candidate because Jonathan Broxton is expected to fill the void left by Takashi Saito. Hoffman wants to close in order to reach the 600-save milestone.
If the Dodgers keep Broxton as their closer, don't expect to see Hoffman as the Dodgers' future closer. However, Broxton has, at times, shown sheer brilliance, but also has shown that he can unravel quickly when placed in pressure situations.
He has an amazing fastball, as illustrated in the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs, where he struck out the side in Game Three. Broxton's fastball can hit triple digits, but it is hard to continue to get batters out year long once they begin to sit back and sit on the fastball.
This example was clearly illustrated when Matt Stairs came up to pinch hit and effectively belted a Broxton fastball into the right-field bleachers at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers still need to fill their void in their bullpen. With the departure of Joe Biemel, the Dodgers need to bring a veteran workhorse in order to shore up the bullpen.
The Dodgers' bullpen is now relatively young. Hoffman could also serve the same role as Greg Maddux did last year, mentoring the young pitching staff. The younger generation of pitchers could certain pick up more than a few pointers from an established closer.
The Brewers need a closer because they do not have any internal candidates to assume the role. Eric Gagne, both former Dodger and Brewer, has departed Milwaukee as a free agent. Solomon Torres has also retired from baseball. It seems that Milwaukee is the better fit because there is a greater need.
Another deciding factor for the two teams is the length of Hoffman's contract. San Diego withdrew a $4 million offer. The Dodgers and Brewers may try to only sign Hoffman to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. Hoffman is a great pitcher, but he is not overpowering.
Another concern is Hoffman's age. In this day and age, only Mariano Rivera and Hoffman are the established "old" generation of closers. With the influx of newer, younger closers, the market for Hoffman becomes narrow. Will teams risk signing a pitcher who is near the end of his career?
Each team must realize that they are receiving Hoffman as is, meaning his arm does not have what it used to have. Every year, Hoffman faces the decision whether he will continue to pitch. After he reaches his milestone, he may decide to hang up the spikes,and retire.
In the next 48 hours, we will either see Trevor Hoffman in Dodger Blue or he will be donning a Brewers uniform.
Well Trevor Hoffman has accepted the Brewers' offer. The Dodgers will not have the services of Trevor Hoffman.
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