A Deal that will Haunt the Cardinals in 09

Hoffman has agreed to a one-year deal with the Brewers, according to an ESPN report.

Division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers have done something that the Cardinals have failed to do this winter, solving their closer situation by landing the all-time career saves leader Trevor Hoffman.

At 41, Hoffman isn't the flame-thrower he once was, but he converted 30-of-34 save chances last season for the last place San Diego Padres and takes over as the closer for a team that won 90 games in 2008.

Posting a record of 3-6 with a 3.77 ERA, apparently the St. Louis Cardinals didn't put much stock in Hoffman's abilities to still close out games, yet opponents hit just .224 off of him and his command was certainly there, striking out 46 batters, while walking just nine in 45.1 innings.

The Brewers finished the 2008 campaign, winning the National League wild-card spot in the playoffs with a 90-72 won-loss record, finishing 7 1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs and four games ahead of the fourth place St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals, who were 5-10 against the Brewers in 2008, may find it difficult to improve on that record, with Hoffman who has saved at least 30 games in 13 seasons on the mound for the Brew Crew.

Meanwhile back in St. Louis, the Cardinals who at one time were looking for a major league veteran to close next season, as a bridge to future closer Chris Perez or Jason Motte, may be fast forwarding their plans and timeline to turn the ball over to one of the young hurlers.

The Cardinals never considered Hoffman and option, a decision that could come back an haunt them.

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