Dodgers Make Offer To Trevor Hoffman

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made free agent Trevor Hoffman a one-year, $4+ million offer with an option for 2010. The 41-year-old is the all-time saves leader and also has discussed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, and is likely to have received a formal offer from them, as well.

Hoffman is intent on reaching 600 saves and won't sign anywhere if he doesn't have the chance to be the closer. The Dodgers are hoping to replace Takashi Saito, whom they non-tendered after he suffered from an elbow injury last season, and buy more time for Jonathan Broxton, who is developing into a closer.

Hoffman, 41, earned 554 of his saves for the Padres. He grew up in Orange County, and his father was a longtime usher at what was then called Anaheim Stadium. Hoffman earned $7.5 million last season. The Padres offered less than $5 million to return in 2009, then rescinded the offer.

He went 3-6 with a 3.77 earned-run average last season, including a 1.59 ERA after the All-Star break and converted 30 of 34 saves but gave up one home run every 5.7 innings, the second-worst ratio of his career.

In an effort to strengthen their bullpen, they also made an offer to former Dodger Dennys Reyes ESPN reported. There are also indications the Dodgers are pursuing a right-handed set-up man and another ex-Dodger Guillermo Mota. They have also contacted the agent for free-agent right-hander Juan Cruz.

Meanwhile, Back to Ramirez
In the most over-reported story of the off-season, the Dodgers and Ramirez are in the third month of a contract stalemate and now the rival Giants are considering whether to extend him a three-year offer -- perhaps for real this time.

The Giants had no interest in Ramirez until recently, the source said, but the signings of shortstop Edgar Renteria and pitchers Randy Johnson, Jeremy Affeldt and Bobby Howry persuaded them they might be one big bat away from winning a weakened National League West.

"It's actually not what we're looking for," San Francisco General Manager Brian Sabean told XM Radio, "except that he's such a profound middle-of-the-order hitter, which we need."

Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus, compares Ramirez with another holdout, Jody Reed.

Sheehan said the Dodgers probably could sell another 2,000 season seats if they do sign Ramirez which would translate into about $7.5 million in gross revenue.

Despite the two great months for the Dodgers and the perception that he carried them to the postseason, the gap between where the market sits for corner outfielders who can hit but not field—$8 million to $10 million per season for a three-year deal—and the current set of rumors on Ramirez is too wide to be ignored.

Abreu and Dunn are still available and would cost about half of the $25 million that the Dodgers had offered Ramirez after the season ended last year. A reasonable estimate would be approximately $16 million per season on a three-year contract, plus an option on a fourth year.

It won't quite rise to the level of Jody Reed, but right now, it seems that Ramirez left money on the table by not taking the first offer — two years and $45 million — made back in November.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Phillies signed free agent P Chan Ho Park to a 1 year, $2.5 million contract. Park says he still wants to be a starter. ...The Yankees signed SS Angel Berroa and P Jason Johnson to minor league contracts.

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