Hoffman mulling plans for next season

Hoffman mulling plans for next season

NEW YORK -- All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman logged another save on Wednesday -- No. 601 -- but still won't offer any clues about his plans beyond this season. When he does decide whether to come back for a 19th season or retire, he wants to be sure.

"I think we've seen in the area where we live what happens when someone changes his mind a few times," said Hoffman, a friendly jab at former Packers quarterback Brett Favre. "I just don't want to be that guy. If I emotionally say, 'I'm tired, I'm out of it, I've had enough,' and then have something come up, I'd kick myself.

"I don't need any fanfare. I'll be a little blip somewhere if it is [the time for retirement]. If not, it will be playing for somebody else."

Wednesday's save was notable for Hoffman. He had never pitched at new Citi Field, for one, and it meant a little extra considering it was a moment in which he was legitimately the closer again. John Axford, the rookie who took over for Hoffman in May, pitched Tuesday night and again in Game 1 of the doubleheader. He notched his own save in the afternoon game and was unavailable in the nightcap.

"It was nice to not just get thrown a bone, in a sense," Hoffman said. "I was going to be in that game, so it was nice to step up and do my job. There was no wondering if the phone was going to ring. ... It couldn't have worked out any better."

Hoffman cannot say it, but his time with the Brewers is almost certainly coming to an end. The team will decline his $7.5 million option for 2011 and pay a $750,000 buyout instead. The cost of that buyout increased by $250,000 when Hoffman finished his 35th game of the season on Sunday.

The Brewers will stick with right-hander John Axford as their closer in 2011. Hoffman, if he returns to pitch, will probably seek a situation in which he at least has a chance to be the closer. He turns 43 on Oct. 13.

"Ax is going to take the helm," Hoffman said. "I have nothing but respect for him."