If you haven’t been watching this story unfold today, chances are you read that headline and temporarily got very angry. After all, why the hell would the Brewers offer Trevor Hoffman, who made $7.5 million in base salary in 2010, arbitration? Considering the year he had, that would seem like a pretty big risk to take just to get a sandwich pick.
Well, it turns out the Brewers — much like the Yankees and Javier Vazquez earlier in the day — reached a handshake agreement with Hoffman. The Brewers will offer Hoffman arbitration to keep them eligible for draft pick compensation, and Hoffman will decline and remain a free agent. Since Hoffman is a Type B free agent, the Brewers would be in line for a sandwich pick should he sign elsewhere.
And that’s really the catch here. The Brewers can only be compensated if Hoffman decides to sign elsewhere. If no one is interested or he decides to retire later this winter, the Brewers get nothing. From the Brewers’ perspective, the good news is that Hoffman intends to pitch in 2011, and Arizona is even being mentioned as a possibility. The handshake agreement really makes this a no-lose situation for the Brewers.
Really, this is yet another classy move by Hoffman as he prepares to leave town. An anonymous source told Adam McCalvy that it was “the right thing to do,” but he didn’t have to decline the offer. Instead, he was nice enough to give the Brewers a “thank you” in the form of possible compensation. The Brewers took a chance on him after many thought he was done after the Padres let him go, and in all honesty probably stuck with him longer than they should have in 2010.
Still, he never said a bad word about the club when he lost his job as the closer, and remained a clubhouse leader. We’ve all probably said some nasty things about Hoffman The Player out of frustration in the past year, but there’s no doubt that Hoffman The Person was nothing but class during his two years in Milwaukee. This is just the icing on the cake.
Thank you, Trevor, and good luck in Arizona or wherever you may end up.