- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
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Dozens of players have been pulled back from waivers after being claimed this month. In all likelihood, all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman will be another on that list.
Hoffman was claimed by the San Francisco Giants, who may have made the claim partly for themselves and partly to impede the division rivals they are chasing, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies, from getting him.
Hoffman has posted a 1.85 ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers this season, with 27 saves in 29 chances, and he has allowed just 29 hits and one homer in 39 innings.
The Brewers are 12 games out in the NL Central, behind the St. Louis Cardinals, and would have to go on a historic run to climb back into the race. They likely would not get much in return for Hoffman in a trade and might prefer, instead, to keep the veteran closer in an effort to finish strongly.
"I did talk to Trevor about my feelings about him being claimed," Melvin said before the Brewers played the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. "But I haven't talked to the team that claimed him."
Milwaukee can work out a deal to trade Hoffman to the club that claimed him, assign him to that team for no compensation or pull him back off waivers. If Hoffman is pulled back, the Brewers can't trade him for the rest of the season.
"He's wearing our uniform now," Melvin said. "I hope we can use him more than we've been able to use him. That's the ultimate goal."
Milwaukee began the night 10½ games out in the NL wild-card race. Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the Brewers likely wouldn't trade any players who can become free agents this offseason because the team probably would receive more value in draft pick compensation if those players sign elsewhere than it would get back now.
The Brewers appear to have interest in re-signing their closer next season. Hoffman had a major league-record 581 saves going into Friday night's game.
"If you want to compete, you've got to have a closer," Melvin said.
Hoffman, who spent 16 years with the San Diego Padres, said he had never before been placed on waivers.
"I've never done it," he said. "There's nothing to worry about. Just go out and play."
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
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