Mistake that doomed the Brewers #3: Not following up the Josh Hader trade with impact move
When the news first broke shortly after noon on August 1st that the Brewers had traded Josh Hader to the Padres, everything changed. A first place team traded away its closer at the Trade Deadline, which is something that never happens. There’s a reason you never see that happen.
When it was completed, the Brewers acquired four players for Hader: Taylor Rogers, Dinelson Lamet, Esteury Ruiz, and Robert Gasser. Two were big league bullpen arms (more on that later) and two were prospects.
It was a shocking trade, one that stunned players, fans, executives, and pundits alike. No one could believe that Milwaukee actually traded away their four-time All Star closer while they were in first place.
But rumors continued to swirl, that the Brewers had something big planned. And they needed to. If this was the beginning of some master plan the front office had to completely reshape the team and put them in a markedly better position to contend for a World Series this year, they had about 24 hours to put the rest into action.
But then it was followed up with nothing. They acquired two more bullpen arms in Matt Bush and Trevor Rosenthal (again, more on that later) but nothing else. No position player to help the offense, which was the biggest need. The Brewers even admitted they tried to acquire hitters to boost the offense but didn’t like the prices. Did they plan on prices dropping closer to the deadline and they just didn’t?
Once the Brewers committed to this “master plan” if there was one, they needed to follow through on it. Once Hader was gone, they had to commit to seeing it through. There’s no going back after that. They reached the point of no return. But yet they tried to return. They didn’t follow through on some grand plan to reshape this roster.
Because they didn’t follow up the Hader trade with anything of significance and didn’t bring in any other player of significance, it made the roster worse and made the players feel even worse.