Brewers: Why Now Was The Right Time to Trade Josh Hader

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 08: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers prepares to throw a pitch in the ninth inning during game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves at American Family Field on October 08, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 08: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers prepares to throw a pitch in the ninth inning during game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves at American Family Field on October 08, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Josh Hader is no longer a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. With around 30 hours left in the 2022 MLB trade deadline, the San Diego Padres acquired the All-Star closer in exchange for four players.

In my mind, when I thought about the Brewers trading Hader, I always pictured a stud or Top 100 player coming back as a return. When it was announced that it was the Padres, I was already excited about the Brewers receiving Eric Hosmer, among other options.

Instead, Milwaukee received reliever Taylor Rogers, pitcher Dinelson Lamet, pitching prospect Robert Gasser and outfield prospect Esteury Ruiz.

The names for the return aren’t earth-shattering. But Father Time is undefeated when it comes to trades. The last time the Brewers traded with the Padres, many thought the Padres won the deal hands down.

Cut to the present, and Eric Lauer has been the team’s number three starting pitcher with Freddy Peralta on the injured list. Luis Urias is now the starting third baseman. Both players are producing for the team. The San Diego Padres have since traded Zach Davies, and Trent Grisham is barely hitting .200. So, let’s focus on the positive right now.

Let’s break down some reasons why the right time for the Brewers to trade Josh Hader was now.

When it came to Josh Hader, it wasn’t a question of if the Brewers would trade him, it was only a matter of when.

Going into his last year of arbitration after the 2022 season, Hader wasn’t going to be cheap. He would probably end up making around $15-16MM next year. That is a lot of money for a small market team trying to compete in their current window.

Yes, it shouldn’t be just about money when he is the currently saves leader in the league. But it helps when you have Devin Williams and his 30 straight innings of not giving up a run. He is most likely the team’s new closer.

They also received Taylor Rogers from the Padres, who is currently second in the league in saves this year with 28 to Hader’s 29. Yes, he had been recently removed as the closer. But that doesn’t mean a change of scenery might not help.

So, the Brewers are going to be saving money, and Williams doesn’t start arbitration until next season. Hader was still going to be traded. It was going to be now or in the offseason. There was no way the team was going to keep him for another year and a half and let him walk for nothing.

And when you have pitchers like Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff that you would like to sign or extend soon, Hader was probably one of the odd men out. They will probably only be able to keep either Burnes or Woodruff too, making the retention of Hader even less likely.

There is a chance that Hader’s performance might start to decline as well.

It’s a slim chance, but possible. Hader was basically flawless the first half of the season. He did take some time off to be with his wife and new child and also skipped the All-Star game for that same reason. None of this is a dig against Hader or his decisions, they were the right ones. But being a father can change you and your perspective on things.

Leaving May, Josh still had a 0.00 ERA. During the month of June, he had a 3.38 ERA, but still only one blown save. In July, still only one blown save. The different is that he had an ERA over 12.00. Hader is probably still a shutdown closer but starting to show some cracks.

July was rough for Hader in 2021 too. He had a 9.53 ERA and a blown save, but only had to appear six times (he made 11 appearances this past July). He was then lights out in August and September of 2021.

There is a good chance the same thing is happening and that Josh will be dominant in the Padres bullpen for the next 18 months or so unless he is extended by them. But he’s also played at such a high level for so long. There is no guarantee he won’t start to show some sort of decline or slump, as so often happens to relievers out of nowhere.

And what if Hader does have an up-and-down season the rest of this year. His trade value would have been lower. This was a peak time to trade him being one of Milwaukee’s biggest trading chips and asked about players.

Hader is now a San Diego Padre. The Brewers now have a new closer, and it’s a great one. It appears that maybe Milwaukee was waiting to trade Hader until they had his replacement, and Williams is just that player. His resume, especially this season, speaks for itself.

The team was probably not going to be able to re-sign Hader when he became a free agent. He will make up to $20MM a year once he reaches that point in a year and a half. The team now has some extra money to spend on new free agents, additional trades for the next 18 months or extending current players.

Next. What's Next for the Brewers After the Josh Hader Trade?. dark

Reviewing The Brew
Reviewing The Brew /

Want your voice heard? Join the Reviewing The Brew team!

Write for us!

Trading Hader at any point wasn’t going to be easy or the perfect time. But trading him now does make sense. And how it all plays out, we will just have to wait and see. At the very least, Josh Hader will always be a Brewers legend.

facebooktwitterreddit