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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Brewers targeting Hoffman

Brewers targeting Hoffman
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 6, 2009 10:07 a.m.

The Brewers need a closer and general manager Doug Melvin has targeted all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman as his choice to fill that role.

I just spoke on the phone with Melvin and he said he's trying to find out as soon as possible -- perhaps even by the end of today -- what the chances are of signing Hoffman. The 41-year-old right-hander became a free agent when San Diego decided not to offer him salary arbitration because of budgetary restrictions.

Accordingly, Hoffman would not require the Brewers to forfeit a draft pick even though he is a Class A free agent.

"Right now, he is (our top choice)," said Melvin, who spoke with Hoffman's agent, Rick Thurman, yesterday and plans to do so again today. "We've talked parameters. I'd like to know sooner than later."

Brewers targeting Hoffman - JSOnline
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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01/06/09 1:10 PM EST
Brewers rekindling talks with Hoffman
GM Melvin's dialogue with closer's agent marks improvement in pursuit
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers have gotten the feeling all winter that all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, a Californian who has pitched in that state since 1993, was cool on the idea of moving to the middle of the country. There were indications Tuesday of a thaw in that stance.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has rekindled talks with Hoffman's agent, Rick Thurman, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and planned to touch base again Tuesday to see if there is common ground.

The Brewers need a closer to replace Salomon Torres, who announced his retirement after the season, and they have no experienced options within the organization. The team showed some interest in left-hander Brian Fuentes and right-hander Kerry Wood before those pitchers signed elsewhere, and now has focused on Hoffman -- who is 41 but is coming off a season in which he converted 30 of 34 save chances for the 63-win Padres.

"We've talked parameters," Melvin told the newspaper. "I'd like to know sooner than later." That the sides were talking marked an improvement. As recently as Dec. 31, Melvin told MLB.com that Hoffman and his agent "haven't given us [the] indication" that they would consider Milwaukee as a destination.

Brewers rekindling talks with Hoffman | MLB.com: News

Fwiw I'd love my Cardinals try this out but doesnt look likely.. would be a good move for Milwaukee..
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hoffman has "mutual interest"
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 6, 2009 12:39 p.m.

I just got off the phone with Rick Thurman, the lead agent for free agent closer Trevor Hoffman. Thurman assured me that Hoffman has "mutual interest" in the Brewers, who have targeted the all-time saves leader as their top choice to fill their vacant closer's role.

Thurman and Hoffman apparently have been doing their due diligence on the Brewers, talking to folks in the organization to gauge the atmosphere, plans for 2009, etc. Hoffman went as far as talking to new manager Ken Macha.

This is not to say the Brewers are a lock to get Hoffman. Thurman said he is talking to other teams who are interested in the 41-year-old changeup specialist.

I also got the impression that Hoffman might be looking for a two-year deal. I'm not sure if the Brewers are willing to do that, considering Hoffman's age, but he doesn't put the strain on his arm that other pitchers might because he throws changeups more often than not.

Hoffman has "mutual interest" - JSOnline
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers have rekindled talks with free agent closer Trevor Hoffman, and manager Ken Macha has joined the pursuit. When Macha learned that general manager Doug Melvin was talking again with the agent for the all-time saves leader, he asked Melvin for permission to call Hoffman himself. Hoffman was vacationing with his family in Hawaii, but returned that call on Saturday.

"I gave him a compliment on his career, and his professionalism," Macha said Tuesday, after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported that the Brewers had resumed talks with Hoffman. A guy with Hoffman's experience and track record, what he's done over the years, would bring a lot of confidence to your team," Macha said. "This guy is a tremendous individual, and he could have a great influence on the young guys on our staff."

In Hoffman's case, the Brewers have West Coast competitors. The Dodgers reportedly have shown interest, and some have speculated that the impending ownership change within the Padres -- whose decision to cut ties with Hoffman after the season led to some animosity on both sides -- could lead San Diego back into play. But that ownership change is likely to take months to resolve.

"When we talked, he gave his analysis of the Brewers," Macha said. "He said, 'Great offense, a lot of young players and a chance to compete again for a division crown.' Things like that are attractive to him. I can't be the judge of whether the scale is tilted toward pitching in California or just winning, period. I can't give you the complete reading on that. But it is appealing to him that we are a good, young team and we are going to compete."

Brewers' Macha contacts Hoffman | MLB.com: News
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Waiting for closure
Brewers, Dodgers contend for Hoffman
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Jan. 6, 2009 9:31 p.m.

The Milwaukee Brewers can't fight geography, especially the kind of West Coast geography that players often prefer.

The Brewers should learn today what chance they have of signing closer Trevor Hoffman to a free-agent deal. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who could allow Hoffman to stay close to home, represent the chief competition for baseball's all-time saves leader.

"If (the other team) is L.A., he lives out there," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "All we can do is give it our best shot and see what happens."

Melvin spoke twice Tuesday with Rick Thurman, the lead agent for Hoffman, who has spent the last 16 years with San Diego, where he makes his home. During the final conversation, specific parameters were discussed on contract terms.

"We got more direction on the kind of numbers we're looking at," Melvin said. "We're going to look at it. We exchanged numbers to a point. We agreed to talk again (today)."

Waiting for closure - JSOnline
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hoffman's deal is for one year and $6 M
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 8, 2009 10:04 a.m.

Apparently, the Brewers did not have to guarantee a second year to sign free agent closer Trevor Hoffman. I just was told the deal is for one year, and there's probably an option for 2010. Don't have the financial details yet but if I had to guess I'd assume the money is about $6 million or $7 million for next season. Hoffman made $7.5 million last year.

The Brewers probably will make the official announcement sometime before noon.

UPDATE: I JUST HEARD THE DEAL IS FOR $6 MILLION IN SALARY THIS YEAR WITH $1.5 MILLION IN INCENTIVES, WHICH WOULD ALLOW HOFFMAN TO MATCH HIS $7.5 MILLION SALARY OF LAST YEAR WITH SAN DIEGO

There will be no announcement today
By Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel
Jan. 8, 2009 10:24 a.m.

I just learned that the Brewers will not be announcing the Trevor Hoffman signing today. Teams agreed before the off-season not to announce free agent signings until the player passes a physical. That prevents the awkward situation where a team has announced the signing and the player fails the physical, creating legal difficulties about whether they had a deal or not.

So, until Hoffman passes a physical, the Brewers won't announce his signing. That's why you've seen media reports of signings this winter but the team not confirming them until later.

But the deal is done. It's for $6 million in 2009 with $1.5 million in incentives, with a club option for 2010.
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