Sources: Hoffman, Brewers have deal

Updated: January 8, 2009, 8:35 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Career-saves leader Trevor Hoffman will be the Brewers closer next season.

Hoffman
Hoffman

Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that Hoffman has agreed to a deal with Milwaukee.

Terms were not immediately available, but early in the process, Milwaukee had offered the closer a one-year contract with an option for a second. According to multiple media reports, Hoffman will make $6 million in 2009.

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The 41-year-old Hoffman had pitched for the San Diego Padres since 1993, but the team recently withdrew its offer for next season.

Hoffman posted 30 saves last season, then became a free agent. The NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers showed considerable interest in the right-hander.

Hoffman earned all but two of his 554 career saves for the Padres over 16 seasons.

Hoffman's agent, Rick Thurman, credited Milwaukee for being "diligent and aggressive" in its pursuit of Hoffman after Brewers players called to recruit him.

A number of friends who will now be teammates called and let him know that Milwaukee was a great place to play and live in," Thurman said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "At the end of the day, that made a big difference. It made a huge difference the last 16 years in San Diego. That's why he always stayed there instead of opting to go elsewhere for more money. He now looks forward to a new beginning and a new era in Milwaukee."

Milwaukee, the NL wild-card champion last year, was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Philadelphia. Bolstering the bullpen was a big need for the Brewers this winter -- Salomon Torres, who led the team with 28 saves, retired and reliever Eric Gagne filed for free agency.

The Brewers recently signed reliever Jorge Julio, but kept looking for help.

Hoffman converted 30 of 34 chances last season. The face of the Padres' franchise since Tony Gwynn retired, Hoffman had once hoped to hear AC/DC's "Hells Bells" on jogs to San Diego's mound for the rest of his career.

Contract talks with the Padres soured, however, and the team pulled its offer of $4 million for 2009 with a club option for $4 million in 2010.

San Diego finished last in the NL West, 21 games behind the Dodgers.

Hoffman was 3-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 48 games. Relying on a wicked changeup, he has saved at least 30 games in 13 seasons, another major league record.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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