Closer Market Gets Crowded As Hoffman Joins Free Agents

This week Trevor Hoffman joined the ranks of the currently “between contract” closers. It’s a pretty impressive list right now with K-Rod, Brian Fuentes, and Hoffman all free agents. Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz are rumored to be available for trades as well.

The Mets couldn’t have picked a better time to be in the market for a closer. We haven’t heard any rumors about the Mets making an offer to anyone yet. So we know they’re not immediately jumping into the fire after any of the available free agents.

Hoffman could be a good one year stop-gap until Eddie Kunz is ready to take over the reigns as the closer. Sure, he’ll be 41 years old this year. And his fastball is topping out in the mid to high 80’s now. But he’s still got the great change up. And he’s not far removed from some excellent seasons.

Last season Hoffman had 32 saves with a 3.77 ERA and 1.037 WHIP. Not bad for an old man. The Mets would’ve killed to have someone like that last season after Billy Wagner went down. In 2006, Hoffman had 46 saves and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting and tenth in the NL MVP voting.

I’d rather have Hoffman for one season than Fuentes for three and K-Rod for four or five. The way relief pitchers are up and down from season to season, you just can’t trust them to be consistent over any great length of time.

Omar Minaya should really think about getting into a short-term deal with Hoffman. Not to mention the fact that his price tag will be significantly lower than the other free agents. And the Mets are still on the hook for Billy Wagner’s $10.5 million salary in 2009. It’s not my money that they’re spending but I’d rather see the resources applied across the multiple potential openings in the bullpen, left field, and rotation than to one “great” closer.

Image via Wikimedia

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June 6- Mets News- Wright, Church, Castillo, And Wagner

FLUSHING, NY - AUGUST 08:  Mike Piazza of the San Diego Padres shakes hands with David Wright of the New York Mets on August 8, 2006 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Piazza;David Wright

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Mets go up against the San Diego Padres for the second of a four game series tonight. It’s another late night game that’s tough to stay awake for. I’m still dejected from the way last night’s game ended… a hit batter to bring the winning run home in the bottom of the ninth. Unbelievable!

  • Willie Randolph is thinking about giving David Wright a day off. He’s played every inning of every game so far. I’m not so concerned about that. He’s a young guy and shouldn’t have a problem playing nearly every game. Wright played in 160 games last season. Read Bart Hubbach’s column at the NY Post.
  • Ryan Church played in last night’s game after asking for a day off in San Francisco on Wednesday. He said that he felt winded after light pinch hitting duty for a week and a half after his concussion in Atlanta.
  • Mets second baseman Luis Castillo is happy to be going up against Padres starter Randy Wolf tonight. He has a history of hitting him hard to the tune of .425/ .465/ .650. Read Marty Noble’s column at
  • Closer Billy Wagner looks up to Trevor Hoffman. Marty Noble wrote a good piece for on this story.
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On Deck: June 6- Mets At Padres- Game 2

New York Mets (30-29) at San Diego Padres (25-37) 10:05pm

Johan Santana (7-3 3.20) vs. Randy Wolf (3-4 4.33)


What to watch: Santana looks like he’s really starting to sharpen up his game. Unfortunately, the Mets are in a position now where they have to win three games in a row to take the series from the Padres. It’s hard to believe that the Padres have become Brian Giles, Trevor Hoffman, Adrian Gonzalez, and a bunch of Triple-A players. I feel sorry for their fans having to watch that team every day.

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