San Diego general manager Kevin Towers said late last week that it's "doubtful" the Padres will offer the 41-year-old Hoffman arbitration.
The Padres would like to talk with Hoffman about returning in 2009, though there has been no contact between the two sides since last month, when the team pulled its one-year, $4 million offer from the table.
Hoffman is classified as a Type A free agent, meaning he ranks in the top 20 percent at his position.
If the Padres offered him arbitration and he signs elsewhere, the team that signs him would lose its first-round pick (or second-rounder if it finished in the bottom 15 in the Majors last season) and the Padres would also gain a supplemental pick between the first and second round.
If the Padres offered Hoffman arbitration and he accepted, his 2009 salary would be decided through the arbitration process. Hoffman made $7.5 million in 2008, and it's likely his salary would be closer to that figure than the Padres' offer last month of $4 million.
Hoffman said his chances of returning to the Padres are "not even 99-to-1" after the club took its offer -- which included a 2010 club option -- off the table.
The Padres are looking to decrease their payroll from the $73.6 million they spent last season, when they lost 99 games.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.