Both said it was the money. First,
Even after 554 saves, it’s hard to justify paying a pitcher who worked 45 1/3 innings last season nearly 10 percent of a last-place team’s payroll. It would be like using Krugerrands to balance the legs of a wobbly kitchen table, or renting a Porsche to deliver pizza.
The Padres, under a mandate by owner John Moores to reduce payroll by about 40 percent, did not make another offer to Hoffman. If the 41-year-old pitcher passes a physical next week, the end of his Padres tenure will be official.
And they had a closer in the wings,
Padres manager Bud Black has said that Heath Bell, the team’s eighth-inning specialist, likely would move into the closer’s job in 2009.
He also brings intangibles,
“We are losing a guy that is a professional at a level that is over and above anybody else,” [Padres trainer Todd] Hutcheson said. “I have seen it in this clubhouse, the way he goes about his business and relates to people. We are going to miss him a lot. There is going to be a big void here.”
Padres pitcher Chris Young said, …”He set a great example for a lot of people, had a very positive impact on a lot of guys’ careers, whether he knows it or not. He is really going to be genuinely missed.”