On this day in 2009 the Brewers made a surprising free agent splash, signing closer Trevor Hoffman to a one year deal with a mutual option for 2010. Hoffman was an 11th round pick for the Reds in 1989 and made his major league debut with the Marlins, but had pitched for the Padres in each of his 16 major league seasons to that point. During that time he had set records with 53 saves in a single season in 1998 and 554 career saves.
Hoffman suffered a spring training setback and got off to a late start in his first season as a Brewer in 2009 but still had a great season, posting a 1.83 ERA and recording 37 saves while making his seventh career All Star game. He turned 42 after that season and unfortunately could not carry that momentum over into the 2010 season: He blew five of his first ten save opportunities and was replaced by John Axford in the closer role.
After his final blown save on May 18, however, Hoffman posted a 3.15 ERA in his final 36 appearances as a Brewer and on September 7, 2010 he became the first pitcher ever to record 600 saves. Hoffman retired following the season but the workout routine he established in the Brewer bullpen lived on through 2011 and presumably will return again in 2012.