Monday, November 10, 2008

Padres withdraw contract offer to Trevor Hoffman

The San Diego Padres withdrew their offer to Trevor Hoffman today.

I really don't understand this move.

The Padres make an offer that pretty much exactly met what many of us have predicted in terms of dollars and length. An offer that was $3.5 million less than his 2008 but certainly not unexpected.

Hoffman then asked to meet with John Moores, Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers. Reportedly not to discuss money, but to discuss the direction of the team and his role.

It seemed that Hoffman was ok with making $4 million with a team option for a 2nd year at $4 million. The Padres contract offer to Hoffman was well below the market value for a 30 save, 3.77 era closer with a 5/1 k/bb ratio, league leading 3.45 pitch/ab,and the NL's 2nd best save percentage.

Hoffman reportedly simply wanted to hear from the Padres front office directly whether or not the team was going to be competitive. Seems a completely reasonable request from a future Hall of Fame player and the face of the Padres franchise since Tony Gwynn retired in 2001.

In the San Diego Union Tribune today, Tom Krasovic quoted Trevor Hoffman's agent, Rick Thurman as saying:
“Trevor would like to talk to them about the direction of the team and whatever his role is,” Thurman said.

The agent also expressed disappointment that the Padres haven't responded to the request. “Trevor's always had a tremendous respect for John and I think that's part of why he'd like to meet with him,” Thurman said. “He's always had a great relationship with John and his family."

The next move by the Padres front office was totally inexplicable. Towers said Hoffman never responded to the offer, when it was widely reported that Hoffman had already asked for a meeting.

Then, instead of meeting with Hoffman, the Padres pull the offer entirely VIA FAX and Towers won't even make a comment about it.

In the midst of what is already being described in the media and by most fans as a fire sale, can you think of a better way to deep six any attempts at selling season tickets for 2009?

Season ticket sales just started less than 1 week ago. Season ticket holders had to make their payments by November 5th and from what I understand renewals are down. At this point last season, ticket sales were reportedly down 20% compared to the year before. It almost seems the Padres brass want a bigger decrease for 2009.

Are they deliberately trying to erode the fan base?

Is Moores trying to erode the value of the team so he can draw out his divorce and then give his wife less money for her half of his share of the Padres?

Yes I know that sounds crazy, but so is the Padres recent behavior.

So please, explain it to me Mr. Alderson, or Mr. Towers, or Mr. Moores.

Padres fans deserve at least that much in the face of possibly losing the 3 most popular players on the team - Peavy, Greene and now Hoffman. Tell us why we should buy season tickets. Why should we show up at Petco. If you don't WANT fans to come, this is a real good way to demonstrate your desire that they stay away.

Tell us, WHY did the Padres withdraw their contract offer to Trevor Hoffman?