Hells Bells?

Based on various reports, the Dodgers may or may not be close to signing Trevor Hoffman.  Here's what we know:

Per Barry Bloom and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Hoffman's agent Rick Thurman said, "In the next 24-to-48 hours I think we'll have something done. If we don't have a deal done we'll have a pretty solid idea of where he's going. But I think we'll have a deal done."

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported the Dodgers offer is for one year plus an option.

Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reported the Dodgers offer exceeds $4 million.

There is some debate as to whether the Dodgers need Trevor Hoffman.  They do have a tremendous young group of pitchers, led by Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo.  Fellow youngsters Cory Wade, Ramon Troncoso, Scott Elbert, and even James McDonald and/or Eric Stults figure to play a large role in the Dodger pen in 2009.  Kuo's injury history, coupled with some doubt as to whether Broxton can handle the closer role, has led as to the point where the Dodgers are looking for outside help to augment their otherwise homegrown bullpen.

I'm not thrilled with giving Hoffman more than $4 million, but he has still been effective the last few years:

Year FIP K/9 HR/9
2006 3.49 7.14 0.94
2007 2.71 6.91 0.33
2008 3.93 9.13 1.72

The HR rate skyrocketed last year, but there's reason to believe that was just bad luck (more of his fly balls allowed ended up as HR than previous seasons).  If it were up to me, I would pass on Hoffman and throw that money into the pile to be used for Manny and a starting pitcher.  But signing Hoffman wouldn't be the worst thing in the world either.

After Welcome to the Jungle and Bad to the Bone blaring over the loudspeakers to start the 9th inning at Dodger Stadium, it would be weird to hear Hells Bells.  I'd settle for Big, Bad John.

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