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On the possibility of moving Trevor Hoffman

As Adam McCalvy noted during the game, Trevor Hoffman was claimed off of trade waivers by an unknown team, and could be dealt if said team can work out a deal with Doug Melvin and the Brewers. Here are three things to keep in mind while rumors will fly over the next few days:

A deal is unlikely to happen. For a deal to happen, the Brewers and the team that claimed Hoffman would have to go from nowhere to a done deal in under 48 hours. Working out a deal that works for both sides that quickly isn't easy, especially when one GM (Doug Melvin in this case) doesn't particularly need to unload the player changing hands. There won't be much negative reaction if nothing comes of this, so whoever claimed Hoffman will almost certainly have to overpay for him to complete a deal.

Any team acquiring Hoffman is getting more than a five week rental. Hoffman will be a Type A free agent this offseason. Any team acquiring him will get:

  • Hoffman for the remainder of 2009, obviously.
  • The opportunity to offer him arbitration for the 2010 season.
  • Two picks in the top 60 or so of next year's draft if he declines arbitration and signs elsewhere.

So, any acquiring team would likely be operating based on the possibility that they're either acquiring Hoffman for the rest of this year and 2010, or acquiring Hoffman and two prospects. But, with that said...

Holding onto Hoffman because you want the compensation picks is not a surefire bet. Hoffman has said publicly he'd like to play one more season, but I'm not sure what the market will be for his services this offseason, for two reasons:

  • Any team that signs Hoffman will have to give their first or second round draft pick to his former team, meaning Hoffman's new team would be spending significant money (probably $6-8 million) and also losing an early draft pick.
  • Hoffman will turn 42 in October.

Obviously, Hoffman has performed very well, better than many of us expected at 41 years old, but any team that signs him will be giving up significant money and a prospect based on the theory that he'll still be just as good at 42. It's a risky bet. If no one is willing to take that bet and offer the money he feels he deserves, Hoffman may decide to retire, and his former team won't get anything in return.

So, speculate away.