It seems we do this every single year. Every offseason, every trade deadline, the reports come out that teams are calling on Brewers closer Josh Hader. Every year the Brewers are listening, and every year nothing happens and Hader remains a Brewer.
But could this year, this trade deadline finally be the one where Hader is on the move?
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, there may be some fire to the smoke this time around.
More trade deadline rumors are swirling around Brewers closer Josh Hader. Perhaps there’s a chance Milwaukee moves him this time.
The Brewers are not sellers at this Trade Deadline. If there had ever been a season in the last few years where Milwaukee was going to sell, Hader likely would’ve been gone already. But typically first place teams don’t trade away their All Star closers at the Trade Deadline. If they ever do so, it would be during the offseason where they could find an adequate replacement.
But, one thing that may lead the Brewers to take this atypical path is that they already have an adequate replacement for the closer’s role in Devin Williams. Williams has not been scored upon in 30 consecutive outings and has been as reliable as it comes. The 9th inning will still be well taken care of.
Hader’s struggles in the month of July have been frustrating as well but he’s been better after the All Star Break.
Rosenthal framed the situation as the Brewers doing more than just their typical due diligence in listening to offers on Hader.
If the Brewers trade Hader at the Deadline, and that’s a major if, the Brewers will need to get at least one immediate impact offensive player back in return. There will have to be minor league prospects involved as well but Milwaukee can’t accept just prospects in this deal. They’re a first place team trying for a World Series. If they’re trading away an impact player from their big league roster, they need a big league impact player back in return.
Those types of trades are very rare mid-season. The Brewers made that kind of a trade last season when they acquired Willy Adames from the Rays, but that was also back in May, not right at the deadline.
The Brewers becoming more and more open to trading Hader is a sign that he may be nearing the end of his Brewers tenure, but a trade is far more likely this offseason. Hader will receive another big raise in arbitration this winter and will enter his final season of team control before free agency next year.
Hader’s value is only going to go down as time as time goes on. 1.5 years of control nets a bigger return than just one year of control. That could play a factor in these rumors and Stearns’ motivation to actually get a deal done.
For years, David Stearns has had an immensely high asking price on Josh Hader, only taking the deal if someone overpays. Perhaps we’re nearing the point where a team is willing to overpay to make a deal happen.