Last season was a bit of a whirlwind for outfielder Jamie Hoffmann, who started in Double-A and by the end of May, was making his Major League debut. Most of his year, however, was spent in Albuquerque, where Hoffmann was a vital cog in helping to lead the ‘Topes to a division championship. In 68 games for the Isotopes, Hoffmann batted .284 with 14 doubles, three triples, eight homers, and 48 RBI. By the end of the season, when the Dodgers were looking to get Jim Thome, it was Hoffmann’s name that kept surfacing as the player Los Angeles would potentially send to the White Sox.
Well Hoffmann didn’t get traded then, but he was left unprotected by the Dodgers and was immediately snatched up in this morning’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings. Hoffmann was the first player taken, a selection made by the Washington Nationals, who then traded him to the New York Yankees as the player to be named in the Brian Bruney deal that was completed when the Meetings began.
“We’ll see where it takes us,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. “We feel he’s got great makeup, he’s got ability, and we project him in the future as an everyday type player. It will be interesting to see how he mixes in.
“This guy has got some thump. He’s a big boy. He can play center, right or left as a plus defender. He’s been rated in the last few years as the Dodgers’ best defensive outfielder. He’s got a hockey mentality, a Minnesota kid. In our roster situation, where we’re at in terms of competing, he’s a guy that we’re hoping can be No. 25 on this roster and give [manager] Joe [Girardi] some choices.”
And with that, the 2009 Baseball Winter Meetings have come to a close. The Isotopes contingent will head back today after a great week of seeing old friends and colleagues. So, taking us out on this bittersweet moment is the ultimate in early 1990s soul – Boyz II Men and their sad a cappella anthem It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday. Indeed it is.