According to MLB.com, the Giants have placed a waiver claim on Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to acquire Hoffman, but it does give them the chance to discuss a deal with the Brewers while also keeping Hoffman off limits to the Dodgers and Rockies. I think Sabean was more so trying to keep Hoffman away from those 2 squads, which promoted them to put a claim on him, but the more I think about it, the more Hoffman would actually make sense for this team. Earlier in the year, the Giants bullpen was having trouble finding innings to stay fresh, but now they're starting to get a tad overworked. Overall, the Giants bullpen has been better than they've been since 2004, but they still could use a nice veteran addition like Hoffman for the stretch drive. Back in 1997, the Giants had Roberto Hernandez and Rod Beck in their bullpen, two above average major league closers, and it really shortened games. If the Giants could somehow land Hoffman and toss him in with Brian Wilson, Jeremy Affeldt and a rebounding Sergio Romo, it would make any lead the team had after the 6th inning pretty darn safe.
Another decision looming for the Giants is what they're going to do with their number 5 spot in the rotation. Joe Martinez has really struggled in three of his last 4 starts, and has yet to make it through 6 full innings as a starter. It's really taxing the bullpen each time this guy takes the ball, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Giants find someone else to take his next scheduled start. A name from outside the organization that has surfaced recently is Brad Penny. The burly right-hander was just released from the Red Sox and apparently is looking to move back to the NL to right himself after struggling in the AL for most of 2009. Penny is apparently healthy, and is just 2 seasons removed from a 16-4, 3.03 era season with the Dodgers. I do think a move back to the NL and into a spacious park like AT&T would be ideal for Penny. There are other teams that are interested in him though as the Yankees would like him to become their 5th started for the final month of the season. Anyway, Penny likely won't clear waivers until Monday morning, so don't look for anything to happen with him until then, but I would be all for giving this guy a shot in the Giants rotation, especially in a low-risk, potentially high-reward type situation like this.
Up Next: The Giants have the Rockies coming into town for a 3 game weekend series starting Friday night, as they try and get revenge on them after losing 3 of 4 in Colorado last week. The Giants have set it up so that their top-3 starters will all throw in the series as Tim Lincecum faces Ubaldo Jimenez Friday, followed by a Barry Zito/Jason Marquis match-up and capped with a Matt Cain/Jasom Hammel duel. The pitching match-ups heavily favor the Giants, but the Rockies are playing extremely well at the moment, so it should be a fun weekend to watch... Also, we're going to be hooking up with Tom Verducci, SI's Senior baseball writer, for an interview and we'll hopefully have that transcript ready before the end of the weekend, so be sure to check back on Saturday or Sunday for that!