Ryan Pressly has perfect response to Josh Hader taking his job as Astros closer

Ryan Pressly is a true professional.
Houston Astros pitcher Ryan Pressly
Houston Astros pitcher Ryan Pressly / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Houston Astros spent $95 million this offseason to make Josh Hader the highest-paid reliever in the history of Major League Baseball. So it shouldn't come as a shock at all to hear that new Astros manager Joe Espada has named Hader the team's closer heading into the 2024 season.

That means it's the end of the road for Ryan Pressley in terms of working the ninth inning. Of course, there are bound to be a few teams over the course of the upcoming season when Hader has already thrown in back-to-back games and Pressly is given the opportunity to close, but Espada said that Pressly will be considered Houston's setup man in 2024.

Pressly has been the 'Stros closer since 2020 and is a perfect 14-for-14 in save situations during the postseason. But the veteran had the perfect response when asked about his new role with the club.

“I get paid to go get three outs. It don’t matter if it’s the fourth inning or ninth inning,” Pressly said via MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.

Ryan Pressly has perfect response to Josh Hader taking his job as Astros closer

Any Astros fan who's ever watched Pressly during his time in Houston is likely not surprised to hear that type of team-first mentality. But it will be a change for the 35-year-old.

Last season with the Astros, only once did Pressly enter before the ninth inning. The same holds true for the reliever's 2022 campaign in which he never entered a game before the ninth inning.

But in 2021, Pressly had a different role with the Astros. While he was still the team's closer, Pressly entered as early as the seventh innings during Houston's 2021 season and made five multi-inning appearances. That's likely to be more of way he's used during the 2024 season

Pressly is entering the final guaranteed year of a two-year deal he signed with the Astros in 2023, but the Texas native does have mutual option for the 2025 season. Pressly's 2025 vesting option, which includes a $2 million buyout, will kick in if he makes 50 or more appearances in 2024.

That's something the right-hander has done for the past three seasons, so 2024 might not be the only year that the Astros get to enjoy Pressly bridging the gap to Hader. The Astros also have Bryan Abreu lurking in the bullpen. After recording 100 strikeouts in 2023, Abreu is sure to receive his fair share of opportunities late in games as well.