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Blog Entry

Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'

Posted on: January 12, 2011 3:01 pm
 
The day Trevor Hoffman retired, another team spent money on a reliever.

A middle reliever.

The Rays guaranteed Kyle Farnsworth $3.25 million, a lot of money for an up-and-down 34-year-old who has pretty much proven he can't close (no saves since 2008), but not out of line with where the relief market has been all winter.

It's been funny. Teams are spending big -- by my count, 13 relievers have already received multiyear contracts -- but most all of the money has gone to guys who either haven't been closers, weren't signed as closers or were signed as possible closers.

Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano, who led the American League with 43 saves, has yet to find a contract to his liking. By some accounts, he could end up signing with the Yankees -- as a big-money setup man.

And the Rangers are planning to take their 40-save closer, Neftali Feliz, and audition him as a starter in spring training.

What in the name of 601 saves is going on here?

Obviously, a lot of teams don't agree with the all-time saves leader, who (not surprisingly) strongly believes in the value of a top closer.

"It's a tremendous compliment to be called a closer," Hoffman said on a conference call.

Hoffman also said that Lee Smith once told him, "There's never been an easy save."

I'm not sure I agree with that, but I do agree that a top closer has big value. As Hoffman said, "The value is there. Ask any manager. . . . You don't realize the impact of a closer until games don't get closed down."

The Padres understood that for a lot of years with Hoffman. The Yankees understand, which is why they were eventually willing to go to two years and $30 million to keep 41-year-old Mariano Rivera happy and employed.

Other teams seem more willing to spend money on the middle guys.

We'll see how that works.
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:52 am
 

Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'




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Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'

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Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'




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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 11:03 pm
 

Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 6:22 am
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Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:39 pm
 

Hoffman: 'It's a compliment to be called closer'

Closers are invaluable and are invaluable to a winning ballclub. Look at the punchless Padres last year with Heath Bell. Having a guy who can come in and punch out a team at a 90% rate is tremendous and is the difference between playoffs and a mediocre season. Amazing how many teams try to piece together a bullpen or try closer-by-committee approaches. It's so much better to have a guy like Hoffman and Rivera who you are confident will close out ballgames.


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