According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers have placed closer Trevor Hoffman on waivers.
Mike Cameron, Craig Counsell, Jason Kendall, Braden Looper and Felipe Lopez were reportedly also made available, as the Brewers are in full fishing mode.
The most interesting player up for grabs is, of course, Hoffman. The all-time saves leader has had a resurgent season in Milwaukee after his aging body and slowing fastball convinced the Padres to let him go. This year, at age 41, Hoffman has saved 27 games in 29 tries, walking 10 and striking out 31 in 38 innings. He has his best ERA (1.89) since 1998, when he saved 53 games, blowing only one. So much for being finished.
The financial commitment to Hoffman is minimal, with him being about three-quarters of the way through his one-year, $6 million contract.
A number of playoff contenders could use Hoffman’s services if not as a closer at least to bolster the bullpen. But it seems like one team in particular should come calling. Hellloooo Phillies!
As Aaron detailed earlier today, Brad Lidge somehow hasn’t killed the Phillies yet. They’re cruising along with a 7-game lead in the NL East. But the defending champs don’t want to trust him come playoff time do they? Then again, would they trust Hoffman?
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.