Josh Hader trade: Padres land All-Star closer from Brewers; here’s what blockbuster means for both teams

Josh Hader trade: Padres land All-Star closer from Brewers; here's what blockbuster means for both teams

The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to bring Josh Hader closer to the San Diego Padres, Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ confirmed on Monday. Milwaukee will receive reliever Taylor Rogers, right-hander Dinelson Lamet and prospects Robert Gasser and Esteury Ruiz in the deal that comes less than 30 hours before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Hader, 28, will qualify for free agency after next season. Because of that, and because of his rising officiating costs (stops are the only stat that makes a reliever pay before he reaches free agency), the Brewers had been more open-minded about move him than you would expect from a first-place team. .

It’s possible the Brewers felt more empowered to make a deal given that Hader is in the midst of a disappointing effort by his standards. In 37 appearances, he amassed a 4.24 ERA (97 ERA+) and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.92. (For reference, even with his struggles this year, he still has a 2.48 career ERA.)

Hader had been particularly ineffective lately, his seasonal ERA falling from 1.09 at the start of July to 4.24 at the end of the month. Five of the seven home runs he has allowed this season have been thrown in six appearances.

The Brewers didn’t necessarily have to have any long-term worries about Hader to justify his transfer – they just had to feel they could get similar production from Rogers, with the other players serving to balance the fact that Rogers will be a agent at the end of the season, a year before Hader. How realistic is this belief? Rogers also had a worse-than-usual year, racking up a 4.35 ERA (87 ERA+) and 5.33 strikeout ratio in 41 innings. For his career, he has a 3.29 ERA in over 350 major league innings.

Sportsline expects the trade to have a favorable impact on San Diego in 2022. The Padres’ odds of making the playoffs fell from 68.9% to 70.7%, while Milwaukee’s odds fell slightly from 78, 8% to 78.2%.

Looking for more information on the Hader trade? Fantasy Baseball Today broke the agreement on an emergency episode. Listen below:

What the profession means for brewers

Above all, it means Milwaukee will have a close regular who isn’t Hader for the first time since grabbing the ninth inning in 2018. The combination of his recent struggles (as mentioned above) and Devin Williams’ continued excellence should make that seem easier to bear for Brewers fans, though it’s reasonable to think the Milwaukee bullpen as a whole could take a step back as a result. (That drop, which the Brewers front office seems to be banking on, may be offset by Rogers.)

Hader’s departure will also free up funds that brewers can allocate elsewhere. He was owed $11 million this season, making him the second highest-paid player on Milwaukee’s roster, behind Christian Yelich. Granted, the savings won’t be felt immediately: Rogers had a salary of over $7 million for the full season, which means the difference for the rest is less than $2 million between them.

The Brewers are also getting additional throwing depth in the form of Lamet, an interesting young hitter in Ruiz, and Gasser, who Baseball America recently ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the San Diego system and potential starter.

What the trade means for the Padres

It’s simple. The Padres were able to acquire Hader, perhaps the best reliever in the game in his career, for a group of foreign players. Rogers had underperformed and was months away from free agency; Lamet had not demonstrated that he was on a big league pitching staff; and neither Ruiz nor Gasser was one of the Padres’ top young prospects.

It’s rare to be able to land a potential impact talent — even in the form of a reliever — without giving up a player the team will surely miss. The Padres accomplished that here. Even if there’s a chance that Hader is down, it’s a valid bet. One that could improve the Padres’ bullpen without jeopardizing their pursuit of Juan Soto or other additions at the trade deadline.

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