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 Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?

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PostSubject: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:05 pm

JON PAUL MOROSI'S BLOG
Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?

BY JON PAUL MOROSI • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • November 11, 2008

As they search for a new closer, will the Tigers consider the pitcher who has more saves than anyone in baseball history?

On Monday night, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the San Diego Padres had withdrawn their contract offer to Trevor Hoffman, signaling that he will not return to the team in 2009.

While it is not certain that the Tigers have serious interest in Hoffman, Monday’s development could impact their off-season plans. At the very least, it made the right-hander a more plausible option on the open market.

Hoffman is a client of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, which represents at least two other relievers (right-hander David Weathers and left-hander Arthur Rhodes) who fit the description of pitchers Detroit could pursue.

Specifically: Given their ages, they are unlikely to demand long-term contracts.

Earlier Monday night, Jeff Borris of the BHSC told the Free Press that the Tigers had inquired about some of the players represented by the firm. Borris declined to identify those discussed.

Hoffman, 41, is baseball’s all-time leader with 554 saves, all but two of which have come with San Diego. But the team reportedly is planning a dramatic payroll reduction, which has a direct link to Hoffman’s apparent departure.

Hoffman saved 30 games this season for the last-place Padres. He pitched 41 1/3 innings, his lowest total over a full big-league season since he debuted in 1993.

Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski selected Hoffman in the 1992 expansion draft, when Dombrowski was the GM of the nascent Florida Marlins. Less than a year later, Hoffman was one of three prospects traded to San Diego for slugger Gary Sheffield and left-handed pitcher Rich Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, agent Barry Meister said Monday that the Tigers had expressed interest in his client, Arizona right-hander Brandon Lyon.

Lyon, 29, began this year as Arizona’s closer but lost the job because of his uneven performance after the All-Star break. He pitched well over the final two weeks of the season in a setup role and still ended the year with the team lead in saves (26).

Teams will be able to sign free agents who finished this season with other clubs beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
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PostSubject: Re: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:10 pm

JAMIE SAMUELSEN'S BLOG
Trevor Hoffman's sliding stats should make Tigers look elsewhere

By JAMIE SAMUELSEN • FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER • November 12, 2008

Jamie Samuelsen can be heard on the morning show on WRIF-FM (101.1) and blogs for freep.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Detroit Free Press nor its writers. You can reach him at jamsam22@gmail.com and read more of his opinions at www.freep.com/jamie

Would you want to see all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman in a Tigers uniform?

Let’s go down the checklist and tell me if the following should be arguments in favor or against.

• He’s 41.

His ERA has risen each of the last three years.

His save total has dropped each of the last three years.

His innings pitched total has dropped each of the past three years.

He allowed eight home runs last year which is what Todd Jones allowed combined in 2006 and 2007. (And he pitched at Petco which is more of a pitchers’ park than the Copa.)

I’m going to say no. There aren’t too many closers who reverse the trend and all of the sudden become effective again late in their career. Ironically, Jones is one. He was on baseball’s scrap heap before having a great year in Florida in 2005 and coming to Detroit. Troy Percival did a little bit in Tampa this year after it looked as if injuries had ruined his career. And Brad Lidge was a huge success story in Philly. But he wasn’t battling Father Time; he was battling the memory of Albert Pujols’ monster blast in 2005.

So if San Diego doesn’t want Hoffman back, why should the Tigers be interested? I’d look somewhere else.
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PostSubject: Re: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:46 pm

11/12/08 7:29 PM EST
Closer market shifts some pieces
Dombrowski says moves don't change Tigers' situation

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers headed into the offseason knowing that the market for relievers was going to be crowded. This week's moves around the Majors shifted the landscape a bit.

While Trevor Hoffman's pending split from the Padres puts another potential closer further onto the open market, Huston Street's trade from Oakland to Colorado puts someone who was already a trading chip into a different spot from which to deal. The sudden retirement of Brewers closer Salomon Torres placed another team on the lookout for relief.

Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski doesn't discuss specific names on the market, but he said Wednesday that this week's moves around baseball don't change the Tigers' situation at all. They continue to look for a closer, either through trade or free agency, and they're still unlikely to pursue the top names on the free-agent market, such as Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes. With a young group of pitchers in the farm system expected to be ready for Detroit in 2010, any deal for a closer is likely to be a short-term fix.

That said, Hoffman might yet fit the profile of a short-term solution. A former selection of Dombrowski when he was the Marlins' GM for the 1992 Expansion Draft, the 41-year-old owner of 554 career saves is at the stage of his career where long-term contracts aren't likely. His veteran presence could be big for a bullpen with potential several young arms.

It wouldn't be the first time the Tigers have looked at Hoffman. The Tigers showed interest and had discussions with Rick Thurman, Hoffman's agent, when he last hit the open market. That was three years ago, when Hoffman gave strong consideration to an offer from the Indians before re-signing with the Padres. The Tigers signed Todd Jones around the same time during the Winter Meetings.

Back then, the Tigers were coming off of their 12th consecutive losing season and still struggling for respect in some corners of the free-agent market. That stigma has diminished after a 2006 trip to the World Series and a 2007 pennant race, though the Tigers fell back to last in the American League Central this year. But like the Tigers, the Indians are back in the market for a closer after releasing Joe Borowski early in the season and watching Rafael Betancourt struggle for much of the year.

Of course, Hoffman is a few years older, too. He's coming off of a season with 30 saves and 45 1/3 innings, his second-lowest totals in both categories since 1994.

For what it's worth, Thurman mentioned the Angels, Mets, Indians, Rangers, Cardinals and Diamondbacks as teams potentially interested in Hoffman this time around, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He did not mention the Tigers.

The Tigers were rumored to have interest in Street back in March, after Fernando Rodney's shoulder injury left Detroit's bullpen in need of a late-inning arm alongside Jones. Detroit didn't have many Minor League prospects left to deal to Oakland after offseason trades for Miguel Cabrera and Edgar Renteria. Though Colorado is expected to try to trade Street again, the Tigers never matched up well with the Rockies when they had Fuentes potentially available.

So far, the Tigers have shown interest in smaller names on the free-agent market, notably former Diamondbacks closer Brandon Lyon and former Nationals closer Chad Cordero. More recently, Dombrowski has pointed to the need for better performances the relievers the Tigers already have, including Rodney and Bobby Seay, as well as potential contributions from younger arms.

"We're just going to continue to weigh all the options," Dombrowski said Wednesday, "but we do have people that we feel can contribute for us."

That includes right-hander Casey Fien, whose performance in the Arizona Fall League continues to move him into Detroit's picture for 2009. He allowed one run on nine hits over his first 11 2/3 innings before giving up two runs on four hits Monday. He combined for a 5-3 record and 2.82 ERA in 52 appearances between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo in 2008.

Dombrowski allowed for the possibility that one of Detroit's hard-throwing pitchers from last summer's First-Year Player Draft could end up in next year's bullpen. That group includes first-rounder Ryan Perry, Cody Satterwhite and Scott Green.

"We have Rodney. We like our young pitchers," Dombrowski said. "There might even be a guy from the Draft last year that ends up making our club. You never know."

However, that still doesn't fill the closer role.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:57 pm

For the love of god don't sign Hoffman!


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PostSubject: Re: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:10 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
For the love of god don't sign Hoffman!

I agree!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:58 am

Todd Jones needs to come out of retirement
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PostSubject: Re: Will the Tigers pursue all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman?   Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:12 pm

Fa show! Big Smile
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