Not only did Comic-Con bless us with it's presence this past weekend, but we are literally a few days before the trade deadline and with the Padres still in contention, the crazies are all over the place here in San Diego. You've got websites calling to acquire Roy Oswalt, radio stations saying a Jayson Werth(less) deal was locked a loaded and even people on the team asking for Lance Berkman. I normally hate talking about players who aren't even here yet (IE: RUMORS) but with all the crazy going around San Diego lately, I guess I've been bit by the bug.
Picture this for trades.....Trevor Hoffman making his triumphant return to San Diego.
Yeah pretty crazy huh? But hear me out first. I'm not saying trade for him now, it would be one of those "better deals to be had in August" type of deals. Obviously closer to when rosters expand so he wouldn't take up a 25 man roster spot of someone more deserving. He would most likely pass through waivers with ease so that shouldn't be an issue. Now I know the Padres currently have the best bullpen in the majors but a couple things alarm me. Out of all the contending teams only the Texas Rangers bullpen has logged more innings than the Padres and to make things worse the Padres bullpen is throwing more pitches on average per plate appearance than every other major league team except the Yankees. So not only are they logging a lot of innings but they are also throwing a lot of pitches and with the stretch run upon us I makes me wonder if this bullpen will begin to wear down? If we learned anything from KT over the years it's you can never have enough bullpen arms. Plus as we all know, attendance is down in San Diego so a return of a fan favorite and the guy who is practically 2nd in line to the "Mr. Padre" throne would surely help attendance down the stretch (if a pennant race isn't good enough reason). There's also a lot of variables to this deal that are unclear right now though.
1. Will the Brewers all of a sudden make an insane (a la Rockies) run and jump back into contention by then? They are currently 5 games under .500, 8 games back in the NL Central & are 8.5 games back of the NL Wild Card (even after a current 5 game win streak). It's a long shot, but you never know.
2. Will John Axeford continue to dominate in the closer role? Or will he stay healthy? If not then the Brewers would most likely go to the All-time saves leader first and get him to 600 saves, but the young Axeford doesn't seem likely to give up his role any time soon.
3. Is this Hoffy's last season? He's struggled for most of the year despite putting up great numbers last season. He lost his closers job early on and has even had announcers comment on air about "how sad it was". I haven't really had a chance to watch to many of his appearances this year but honestly, he's 42, he can't pitch for much longer. He's strung together some good stretches this year so he obviously has a little left in the tank but does he have enough to return for another season? I'd expect the Brewers front office to "do him a favor" by dealing him to a contender so he can have one last run and then hang them up.
Just as there are many factors on whether or not the Brewers would deal Hoffman, there are many factors as to why the Padres would trade for him.
"He's making to much money...."
Trevor is making $7.5 million this season and has a mutual option for next season for $7 million with a $500,000 buyout. So you might as well say he's making $8 million this season. That's about $49,382.00 per game. The Brewers have 61 games remaining so he's still owed roughly $3.012 million. But like I said before, I'm not calling for this trade to happen now, it will be sometime in mid-late August. Let's just say the Padres get him for the months of September & October only (31 games) x the $49,382.00 per game = $1.531 Million. I think the fans that he will draw will easily balance out the costs there....plus it would surely get the Padres organization back into the good graces of the potential Hall of Fame closer to fork over a few bucks.
"We already have an awesome closer & our bullpen is stacked....."
Yes, Heath Bell has done a great job this season and our bullpen all around has been stellar. Gregerson, Frieri, Thatcher, Adams, Mujica, Stauffer, Russell & Webb have all played a part in a Major League leading bullpen ERA of 2.84. Here's the thing though, with the exception of the 32 year old duo of Bell & Adams, all the relievers are still currently in their 20's. Every teammate that has played with Hoffman has never had a bad thing to say about him so these young guys could learn a lot from the legend. He's got playoff expieriance and if they can hold onto Stairs all season long then what's a couple months for Trevor? And who knows if we can wrap up the division soon enough maybe Trevor can make that final push and get the 4 saves needed to get to 600. Plus like I said earlier, our bullpen has worked quite a bit compared to other bullpens. Bottom line is any additional arm will help in the long run.
"Dude Trevor is washed up....."
Like I said before....he's 42 years old! I'll admit he has seen better days, but perhaps a return to San Diego will give him the chance to prove he still has a little left in the tank and he can go out on top. It shouldn't take much to acquire him (cash considerations or low level prospect) so what would the Padres have to lose? If he gets lit up then use one of the other 25 relievers you have on your bench when the rosters expand.
So with that I am calling out to the Padres. Make the move. Bring Trevor home again. Give us, the fans, one last chance to see Hells Bells in action. You may not bring us a player like Cliff Lee or Dan Haren or any other big names, but THIS....THIS my friends is something YOU CAN DO!
PS-Also please don't acquire Jayson Werth(less)....thank you.