In a bit of surprising news, the latest Brewers rumors has the Crew listening to trade talks for one of their best players.
It is now officially December and trade rumors are going to start swirling like crazy. On the first day of the month, we get some juicy Brewers rumors from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required).
According to the report, Rosenthal’s sources say that 25-year old star reliever Josh Hader is “indeed available” in trade talks this offseason.
That’s, for the most part, different than just your usual “we’ll leave no stone unturned and check out every opportunity” kind of talk that normally surrounds the Brewers. This is straight up availability to other teams.
Why Trade Josh Hader?
Fellow contributor Dan Larsen wrote an excellent piece on the case of trading Josh Hader just over a week ago. You can check out Dan’s full-length story on why trading Hader makes sense here.
The short version is, Hader is a proven, blue-chip talent that a lot of teams will desire and will pay a lot for in terms of player capital. While trading Hader may weaken the bullpen, the return could bolster multiple other areas of the roster and in turn, make the Brewers a better team in 2020 and beyond.
The volatility of relief pitching makes the next four years hard to predict, especially with how Hader struggled with home runs in 2019.
Could A Trade Be Completed?
Obviously, that is going to depend on what other teams are offering in trade talks. If GM David Stearns does not receive an offer to his liking, he will simply keep the two-time reigning NL Reliever of the Year award winner, simple as that.
Rosenthal mentioned the New York Mets as a speculative team to watch, given GM Brodie Van Wagenen was previously Hader’s agent and his need for another bullpen arm. There is no definitive proof talks took place between the two, per Rosenthal.
Hader still won’t be paid a significant amount of money in 2020, despite now being eligible for arbitration a year earlier than expected. He’s projected to earn just under $5 million in 2020, which won’t break the bank, but at the same time, all the Brewers moves so far this winter seem to have been in the interest of shedding as much payroll as possible.
That could be indicative of a larger acquisition, perhaps a starting pitcher, or it could be in advance of trading Hader for a high priced target that isn’t on the free agent market. Who knows what David Stearns has up his sleeve?
Very rarely do we hear rumors about what the Brewers are doing and this is obviously not something anyone from the Brewers leaked to Rosenthal. Stearns moves silently and efficiently. If something does get done, we likely won’t be hearing about it until the ink is drying.
The Winter Meetings are coming up in a week, and Brewers rumors like this could lead to some fireworks at the meetings, and will be a big story to watch moving forward, if we get any more updates.