August 1st, 2022: The Brewers trade All-Star closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline
Though there were some bumps in the road, the first two thirds or so of the 2022 season had gone well for the Brewers. Well enough that they were in first place in the NL Central for most of it, anyway. The team still had its flaws though, so fans were hoping for some impact additions at the trade deadline.
Those same fans had also been dealing with trade rumors surrounding the team's star closer, Josh Hader, for the past couple years. That in itself wasn't surprising. Hader was getting closer and closer to free agency and a small market team like Milwaukee all but certainly wouldn't put up the type of money he'd command to lock him up long-term.
But even though Hader was just over a year away from free agency at the time of the 2022 trade deadline, a first place team wouldn't trade away their star closer and one of the best relief pitchers in the entire league, right? Right?
Brewers fans were dealt a blow when it was announced that Hader was being shipped off to the Padres just a day before the 2022 MLB trade deadline. In return, Milwaukee was receiving relief pitchers Taylor Rogers and Dinelson Lamet as well as two prospects, outfielder Esteury Ruiz and Robert Gasser.
Rogers was to be a rental that would soften the blow of losing Hader a bit as he was a decent closer in his own right that year before running into a similar rough patch in the middle of the season. Lamet was to add needed bullpen depth. Ruiz could contribute a bit, but he and Gasser were also brought in to give the team more "bites at the apple" in form of future season contention.
The trade, as we now know, was a disaster. Rogers disappointed during his tenure. Lamet was for some reason designated for assignment before he'd even get a chance to contribute. Ruiz was barely used. And no other moves of consequence were made at the deadline to make up for all of that mess.
And then there were the behind the scenes issues....