The rumor mill has the Milwaukee Brewers possibly putting RP Josh Hader on the trade market. Could he be the LH reliever the Astros have been lacking?
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, rumors have it that the Brewers are entertaining the idea of shopping their star relief pitcher Josh Hader. The Astros had a big hole in their pitching staff last season with no reliable left-handed reliever. Hader could be the answer.
The Brewers are a very payroll conscious team and maybe they’re looking at saving what is sure to be a salary that will be on the increase in the near future. Although, at the estimated $4.6 million he is projected to receive this season, he would be a great bargain for a reliever of his performance level.
Hader is arguably one of the best relievers in the Majors and the free-agent market for reliable relievers is rather thin this year, especially for a young talented lefty. Several of the top free-agent relief pitchers have already been taken off the list and Will Harris is going to get a lot of attention from suitors. Harris would be very difficult to replace if he goes elsewhere.
If you’ll remember, Josh Hader was acquired by the Astros back in 2013 as a part of the Bud Norris trade to the Baltimore Orioles. After two seasons in the Houston Minor League system as a starter, he was traded to the Brewers, along with other prospects, for outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers, yes, that Mike Fiers.
The Brewers changed Hader’s primary role from a starter to a reliever and the rest is history. The two-time All-Star has a career 2.42 ERA in his three years in the Majors and an impressive 15.3 SO/9IP. He was used mostly as a closer last season in Milwaukee garnering 37 saves in his 61 appearances. He has pitched 75 or more innings the last two seasons, showcasing his durability and his capacity to eat up innings in long relief if needed.
What may be the barrier to a reunion for Hader and the Astros is the price. I’m sure the Brewers are going to want an awful lot in return for a reliever of his caliber. But the Astros find themselves in a predicament this offseason with four of their relief pitchers on the free-agent market. They may have a huge gap to fill and the 25-year-old lefty may just be the answer.