Josh Hader would give the Astros a crazy strong bullpen for the home stretch
Back to the fun side of the rumor mill, the San Diego Padres remain the trade deadline's biggest wild card. Despite everything they have invested into that star-studded roster of theirs, the Padres find themselves below .500 and eight games out of the division lead and five games out of a playoff spot. Assuming that they decide to sell off at least some players, one player that could be a nice addition who has also been at least partially connected to Houston is Josh Hader.
Ideally, the Astros could put together a deal for both Blake Snell and Hader as they are both pending free agents and that could solve two of Houston's issues with one move, but let's focus on Hader since that is the actual connection that has been mention by Buster Olney and others.
Hader is one of the best relievers in MLB right now and if he were to be made available by San Diego, it would immediately upend the relief market at the trade deadline. He certainly wouldn't be cheap to acquire in a trade given how good he is, but he would be a rental reliever making real money at $14 million in 2023 which should mitigate the pain of such a move.
If the Astros aren't going to trade for a starter, the next best option is to have a deep, shut down bullpen and adding Hader to the previous acquisition of Kendall Graveman would be a strong step in the right direction there. The biggest question is whether or not the Padres will play ball and actually sell. Their record is what it is, but they have played better than their record and while the division race seems unlikely for them even if they start playing well again, a run at a wild card spot isn't impossible.
Nevertheless, it would be funny if one of the worst trades (by outcome) in Astros history came full circle and Hader ended up with the Astros after all.