Buster Olney is breaking all the bad news this week. I'm really having a hard time digesting this right now. Trevor Hoffman will no longer play for the Padres. Let that sink in for a minute... He came to the organization during a Fire Sale and he's leaving the organization with a Fire Sale.
Trevor Hoffman, the all-time leaders in saves and the face of the San Diego franchise, will not return to the Padres for 2009. The team has withdrawn its contract offer for 2009 to Hoffman, who is eligible for free agency this fall.
I'm beginning to think that the Padres don't want any fans next year. That's the only explanation.
It doesn't surprise me that they weren't able to agree on the initial contract. What surprises me is that the Padres withdrew the contract. What's the harm in letting him turn it down if he isn't happy with it? Hoffman must have really pissed off Padres brass or ownership.
Hoffman made $7 million last season, and the Padres' initial offer to him for 2009 was for $4 million, plus some incentive bonuses. Some friends of Hoffman felt San Diego's offer was a polite way to nudge him out the door; sources familiar with the Padres' offer said it reflected, to a degree, Hoffman's diminished performance in 2008.
I know that Hoffman wanted to talk to John Moores about the direction of the team and to see if he had a spot in their vision. To my knowledge he didn't get that meeting with Moores. It seems he only talked secretly with Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers. Towers has gone on record saying that he wanted Trevor to end his career with the Padres, the problem is that Trevor thinks he can play another three years. With Hoffman's performance suffering as time goes on, the Padres don't want any part of a multi-year or expensive contract. That part is understandable.
Trevor has been scaring me for years now. He's blown some big saves and gives up a couple base hits or long flies in just about every appearance, we've seen how bad he can be. No one will say that he looks like his former self, but he still saved over 30 games for a team that rarely had a lead this season. He saved almost half their games for crying out loud. How many other closers saved 30 games last season?
I don't think the Padres can give Trevor anywhere close to $7 million dollars or a 3 year contract, but I thought for sure they'd be able to work something out. He probably could have lead the Padres to believe that each year would be his last and keep signing one year contracts. The new leadership just doesn't seem to have much respect for Hoffman and he's very sensitive to that.
When Hoffman was last a free agent, after the 2006 season, his negotiations were sometimes contentious; in one meeting, he spoke angrily to Padres president Sandy Alderson. Hoffman seriously considered taking an offer from the Cleveland Indians before making a deal with the Padres
I think Hoffman should play as long as he enjoys playing the game and unfortunately that means he'll end up playing for another team. He doesn't need to finish his career as a Padre to mean something to this city, it would have been nice but he is and always will be a legend here. It's very rare that a player gets to leave baseball or a team on his own terms.
All those including myself that complained about him probably won't realize how how much he brought to this city and team until he's gone. Just imagine not hearing Hells Bells anymore, because I can't.
Today is a sad day for Padres fans.
[Note by jbox, 11/10/08 8:28 PM PST ] Maybe Trevor got his chance to talk to Moores and said some things that Moores wasn't happy with or vice versa.
Asked if he made the withdrawal at Moores' request, Towers said, "No comment."
Towers added: "I really don't want to get into anything other than we withdrew the offer."