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?
Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.
The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.
Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.