This is depressing. The Padres have withdrawn their contract offer to Trevor Hoffman, effectively ending his time in San Diego and apparently on very lousy terms.
This isn’t the way it was supposed to happen, not in the slightest — Hoffy was supposed to end his career as a Padre, in triumph, with the blare of Angus Young and Brian Johnson mixing into the soundscape — but sadly, owner John Moores’ divorce proceedings and a breakdown in the front office has trumped all that.
So, in 2009, there won’t be any more Hells Bells. No more opposing batters flailing at Hoffman’s bedazzling changeup. No more Trevor Time.
With the likely trade of Jake Peavy and probably several other players in what is shaping up to be Fire Sale II, 2009 promises to be a very lousy year for San Diego baseball. It will be especially hard without Hoffman, especially knowing the circumstances of his departure.
Will the 41-year-old Hoffman play again? Probably. His agent will shop him around, and there’s no shortage of teams that need a proven closer. He would have to be a closer, too — statistically, he’s proven to not be as effective in middle relief or non-save situations. Also, at 41, his stuff isn’t what it used to be. The few times I’ve seen him, I’ve seen that his fastball is low even for Hoffman’s standards; he’s only throwing 84, 85 now. The changeup helps offset for that, but he’s simply being figured out more. I’m sure a team in desperate need will pick him up for a year, but you know, there’s something really disheartening about Hoffman being a stopgap solution for another team in what will likely be his final season.