Trade rumors and speculation surrounding elite MLB closer Josh Hader have become somewhat a holiday tradition for Brewers fans at this point. But one that made its way to the internet today was quite a whopper.
We all know why these offseason Hader trade stories have become commonplace in recent years. The three-time NL Reliever of the Year continues to make more and more money during arbitration (he is projected for $10MM this offseason) and the Brewers, being a small market team, should want to get something in return for him while they can .
That said, it’s always hard to predict what a possible trade might look like. As much as Milwaukee doesn’t want him to walk away for nothing some day, they need someone talented enough in return to help them continue to make playoff appearances and also don’t want to just shuttle away prospects that could extend their competitive window.
A trade proposal posted today, however, would set Brewers social media ablaze if it actually happened.
Anthony Castrovince over at MLB.com posted an article on Friday that proposed 5 blockbuster Black Friday trades. The intent is that these proposals would be bolder than your average trade, and, well, bold might be an understatement for one that involved the Brewers.
In fact, Castrovince described it as “the trade that would break the internet.” Here’s what he proposed.
Brewers get: 1B Matt Olson, LHP A.J. Puk
Phillies get: 3B Matt Chapman, LHP Josh Hader
A’s get: 1B/2B Keston Hiura, Phillies No. 1 prospect (per MLB Pipeline) RHP Mick Abel, Phillies No. 2 prospect SS Bryson Stott, Phillies No. 7 prospect OF Ethan Wilson, Phillies No. 11 prospect C Logan O’Hoppe, Brewers No. 1 prospect OF Garrett Mitchell
His general reasoning for the trade makes sense. The Phillies should go hard for the playoffs again in 2022 and this trade would certainly help them do that. The A’s, on the other hand, would be going full throttle into rebuild mode.
But this is a Brewers website so we are looking at their side in all of this. And for Milwaukee, this would be a crazy trade that it seems would have little chance of actually happening based on the team’s trade history.
Yes, it would be nice to see Matt Olson in a Brewers uniform via the right trade. He has a career .859 OPS in six seasons with the A’s, 142 homers in 575 games, an All-Star apperance, just finished eighth in AL MVP voting, and has two Gold Glove awards to his credit.
Former 2016 6th overall pick, Left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk, had been a highly-regarded prospect in the Oakland system for years. But he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations and has battled injuries throughout his career, resulting in just 22 MLB games played so far.
So for that, the suggestion is that the Brewers give up arguably the best relief pitcher in the game in Hader and two former first-round picks in Keston Hiura and Garrett Mitchell? Sure, fans traditionally overvalue their guys in trade scenarios, but it feels like Milwaukee gets the raw end of this one a little bit.
Yes, similarly to Puk, Hiura has been disappointing recently. He doesn’t have the same injury history, though, and has at times appeared on the verge of turning things around in the minors. And Mitchell still appears to have all the makings of a five-tool player.
The Brewers don’t generally let their young, controllable talent go in deals that don’t highly benefit their club. For that reason, fans shouldn’t have to worry about this wild deal going down.