The Milwaukee Brewers wasted little time making their first move of what should turn out to be a very busy winter in Milwaukee. Trevor Hoffman has agreed to a contract for the 2010 season with a mutual option for the 2011 season.
News of the Hoffman re-signing first popped up on Sunday when he mentioned to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that both he and the Brewers were close on an agreement for his return next season.
Buster Olney is now reporting that the deal is done and Hoffman will indeed return to the Brewers' bullpen next year. The deal will earn him $8 million for the year. He will look to become the first closer in Major League history to save 600 games.
The Brewers tried to sign Hoffman for multiple years last winter, but he wanted to play a season in Milwaukee first before committing to anything longer than a single season.
Hoffman enjoyed one of the best years of his career in 2009, despite the fact that many pundits were ready to call for his retirement. Although he was 41 and lost almost 10 miles an hour off his fastball, Hoffman finished the year with 37 saves and a 1.55 ERA.
He finished the year with 591 career saves. Barring any prolonged injury next season, he'll become the first reliever in history to record 600 saves in a career.
Hoffman could have tested the free agent market and likely made at least as much as he'll receive from the Brewers next season. However, he said all year he really enjoyed his time in Milwaukee, and he would be open to a return if management wanted him. General Manager Doug Melvin obviously had the same feelings of keeping Hoffman in a Brewers' uniform.
The key to having a successful bullpen is having a lockdown closer at the backend to shut down opponents and close out games. Trevor Hoffman has proven himself to be one of the very best in the history of the game at doing that. The Brewers need him to find the fountain of youth for at least one more year so management can focus on rebuilding a rotation and front of the bullpen that had a total collapse in 2009.