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?
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.