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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-11-14

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-11-14

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2008-11-14
The Rays could use a closer, and Trevor Hoffman, a pretty good closer, could use a job.

Baseball's all-time saves leader will not re-sign with the Padres, who pulled a $4 million offer off the table Nov. 11 and told Hoffman to look elsewhere for employment.

Could that mean Tropicana Field? Probably not.

While the Rays proved last offseason they're not opposed to signing well-seasoned vets, it is highly unlikely they would pursue the 39-year-old Hoffman. The Rays already owe Troy Percival $4 million for 2009, so it is doubtful they want to pay $8 million for two closers, assuming Hoffman sticks to his $4 million-a-year asking price.

Besides, the Rays have not yet given up on Percival, the 38-year-old who saved 28 games for them last season. Percival made three trips to the disabled list with hamstring and knee injuries and was kept off the postseason roster because of a back injury.

Percival said in September that he would need back surgery in the offseason, but Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said the club is exploring other options -- rehab and exercise -- to see if Percival can avoid the knife.

Percival will get the first crack at closing games next season providing he is healthy. If not, the Rays will look in-house for his replacement.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 14, 2008

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