Mark Rogers, the Brewers’ consensus top prospect in the wake of this winter’s trades, sat down with MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo this month during MLB’s Rookie Career Development Program, and the video is available today over at Brewers.com. He’s an impressive kid, and obviously is thankful for his career resurgence.
Trevor Hoffman participated in a conference call with national reporters on Wednesday afternoon after formally announcing the end of his 18-year playing career. He spent his final two seasons in a Brewers uniform and spoke fondly of that time.
Trevor Hoffman, certainly the top National League closer of his era, has decided to retire, ending his stellar 18-year career, he told MLB.com in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.The right-handed reliever will finish with an all-time record 601 regular-season saves, 42 ahead of Yankees great Mariano Rivera who is in second place at 559. Hoffman, whose career ended with the Brewers, turned 43 on Oct. 13. He will return to the Padres — the franchise where he built his reputation — in a still undefined front-office role, he said.“It’s time to retire. It’s time to move on,” Hoffman said via phone from San Diego, where he and his family still make their home. “This is more of a self-evaluation. I expect to pitch at a certain level and I had to be honest with myself that I wasn’t certain I could maintain that anymore.”The Padres are planning a news conference on Wednesday at PETCO Park to announce the retirement and Hoffman’s new role.Hoffman, who did not exactly part ways with the Padres amicably after the 2008 season, said it was time to put all that acrimony to rest. The team’s front office has almost completely turned over since then, with only majority owner John Moores still involved in the operations. Hoffman left as a free agent after a breakdown in negotiations, ultimately signing with Milwaukee.“I would say it’s the old adage — that time was the real healer,” said Hoffman, who recorded 552 of his saves pitching for the Padres from 1993-2008. “Sometimes you have to take a step back. I understand that some of it is about baseball being a business, but I don’t really want to rehash all that. There’s been a turnover of people there who wanted to reconcile and I’ve been cool with it. A couple of years definitely makes a big difference.”The Padres did ask Hoffman if he wanted to get back in uniform for one day and retire, but he declined the request.“No I won’t do that,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman pitched the past two seasons and logged his final 47 saves in a Brewers uniform, including the milestone No. 600 on Sept. 7 of last season against the Cardinals. That moment was included in MLB.com’s 10 for ’10 series, and I spoke to Hoffman just before the holidays about his career crossroads. Obviously, he’s come to a big decision since then.
This item was included in my Brewers.com Inbox yesterday, but with prospect lists coming out I wanted to spotlight it here so we tuck it into our memory banks. Right-hander Cody Scarpetta appears on track to join a small group of players eligible for a fourth Minor League option, meaning the Brewers will get two more seasons to develop him into a Major Leaguer.
Here’s the short version of his story: Scarpetta was drafted and signed by the Brewers in 2007, only to have his contract voided because of a torn tendon at the base of his right middle finger. The Brewers signed Scarpetta to a new deal, and per baseball’s rules, had to immediately place him on the 40-man roster.Essentially, it placed Scarpetta on the fast track. Instead of evaluating him over five years before Scarpetta’s “option clock” started ticking, the Brewers had to start burning his options. They used one in 2009, one in ’10 and are expected to use another in ’11. Typically, a player has three options over the course of his career, and once they are out, the team must expose the player to waivers before sending him to the Minor Leagues.But once again, a rules technicality may come into play. A small number of players qualify for a fourth option if they have been optioned in three seasons but do not yet have five full seasons (of at least 90 days on an active professional roster) of pro experience. In 2009, then-Brewers infielder Hernan Iribarren thought he was out of options, only to learn just before the start of Spring Training that he was unlucky enough to qualify for a fourth. Just this winter, the Pirates were granted a fourth option for first baseman Steve Pearce.The Brewers anticipate Scarpetta joining that group, but Major League Baseball does not award those fourth options until the original three are exhausted. It would give the Brewers another year to evaluate Scarpetta, who turns 23 in August and is probably in line for a promotion to Double-A Huntsville this season. It looks like he won’t be in the big league discussion until 2012.
More ticketing news from the Brewers:
With the beginning of the 2011 baseball season quickly approaching, baseball is in the air at Miller Park as the ever-popular Brewers 9-Packs go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. CT. Each 9-Pack includes nine Brewers home games and Opening Day – the most anticipated game of the season – absolutely FREE.The Brewers will offer five exciting plans this season, all featuring nine great games, plus Opening Day (Monday, April 4 vs. the Atlanta Braves) or any other game of the fan’s choice for FREE (while supplies last). There are two or three Marquee Games in each 2011 9-Pack, in addition to Opening Day.The Hot Summer Nights Plan, Premier Plan and Rivals Plus Plan all feature three Marquee games, including a pair of games against the division rival Chicago Cubs. Additionally, the Premier Plan includes an all-fan giveaway date on June 12 and an Interleague game against Tampa Bay on June 20. The Hot Summer Nights Plan also includes an Interleague game against the Rays on June 21. Meanwhile, the Weekend Plan includes a Marquee game against the Cubs on April 10 and a border battle against the Twins on June 26 in addition to seven other Saturday and Sunday home games. The Friday Plan features nine Friday night games, including three Marquee matchups against the Cubs (April 8), Cardinals (June 10) and Twins (June 24).Packages start at $135 per seat in the Terrace Reserved ($15 per game) and can also be purchased in the Terrace Box for $189 ($21 per game), the Loge Outfield Box for $270 ($30 per game), the Club Outfield for $324 ($36 per game, no wait service), the Loge Infield Box for $342 ($38 per game), the Field Outfield Box for $360 ($40 per game) and the Loge Diamond Box for $414 ($46 per game).The Brewers 9-Packs offer several benefits, including savings on parking, regular pricing for Marquee-priced games and a guaranteed seat location for the 9-games of your plan (exact seating is not guaranteed for Opening Day). An additional benefit is the “4-Pack Add-On,” which offers fans the option to purchase vouchers for four additional games* of their choice at a special price below the retail cost. *Please note – 4-Pack Add-On vouchers may be redeemed for 71 regular season games (excluding Opening Day and games against the Cubs). Seat location is always subject to availability.Fans interested in purchasing 9-Packs are encouraged to visit brewers.com/9packs for more information.Also, fans can take advantage of exclusive benefits on 20-Game Plans, which offer more seating options, additional per-ticket savings and the opportunity to purchase tickets for all Postseason games played at Miller Park. Plus, with the purchase of a 20-Game Plan, fans will be eligible for the Brewers “Fan-Tastic Forty” promotion, which was announced on Wednesday – 40 fantastic prizes given away over 40 days! From a trip down Bernie’s slide to seats in the Owner’s Box, visit brewers.com/fan40 for details on how a Brewers Season Ticket package will put you in scoring position for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
For those keeping track of the Brewers’ payroll obligations for 2011, here are some updated figures on recent free agent signings:
The Brewers announced four more non-roster invitees to Major League Spring Training camp today: