Sunday, August 14, 2022

Josh Hader trade: Padres land All-Star closer from Brewers in deadline blockbuster

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The Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to trade closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres, CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirmed Monday. Milwaukee will receive reliever Taylor Rogers, right-hander Dinelson Lamet and prospects Robert Gasser and Esteury Ruiz in the deal.

Hader, 28 years old, will qualify for free agency after next season. Because of that, and because of his rising arbitration costs (saves are the one statistic that gets a reliever paid before they hit free agency), the Brewers had been more open-minded about moving him than you might expect from a first-place team.

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

Hader had been particularly ineffective as of late, with his seasonal ERA increasing from 1.09 at the beginning of July to 4.24 by month’s end. Five of the seven home runs he allowed this season were launched over the span of six appearances.

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The Brewers didn’t necessarily have to have long-term concerns about Hader to justify moving him — they just had to feel that they could get similar production from Rogers, with the other players serving to balance the fact that Rogers will be a free agent at season’s end, a year earlier than Hader. How realistic is that belief? Rogers has also had a worse year than usual, accumulating a 4.35 ERA (87 ERA+) and a 5.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 41 innings. For his career, he has a 3.29 ERA in more than 350 big-league innings.

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