Pads and Brewers trade closers as Hader moves west

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Passan: Padres still in mix for Soto despite Hader trade (0:52)

Jeff Passan says the Padres very much “remain intact” for Juan Soto despite trading a number of prospects for Josh Hader. (0:52)

12:32 PM CT Josh Hader, an All-Star closer for the Milwaukee Brewers, was moved to the San Diego Padres on Monday afternoon. The move sent the best reliever in baseball in recent memory to a group that has struggled in late-inning circumstances this year.

The deal came about after the Brewers had a lot of interest in Hader this week, sources told ESPN. It will send left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser, right-hander Dinelson Lamet, and outfielder Esteury Ruiz to the Brewers.

Despite the fact that the 28-year-old Hader has a 4.24 ERA, which is a career low, analysts claim his stuff is still excellent and that, but for two subpar performances on consecutive days prior to the All-Star break, his ERA would be under 2.00. Hader has struck out 59 batters in 34 innings this season while walking 12 and giving up 7 home runs.

After years of consideration, including in potential transactions with the Padres, Milwaukee’s willingness to part ways with Hader was unexpected but not entirely unexpected. Hader, who earns $11 million this year, should get a pay increase to almost $16 million in his final year of arbitration the following year. In 2023, he will become a free agent.

Brewers head of basketball operations David Stearns stated in a statement, “The players we are obtaining in this deal assist ensure that the future of the Milwaukee Brewers stays bright while not compromising our goal and expectation to win today. “This combination of current Major League players and top prospects advances our goal to take as many chances as we can and, ultimately, to deliver a World Series to Milwaukee. It’s challenging to trade good players for good teams, and Josh is unquestionably one of those players. We also understand that we must make difficult decisions if we want to offer our company the best chance for long-term competitiveness and avoid the protracted downturns that so many businesses go through.”

San Diego will replace Rogers with Hader and is far from finished because of its win-now mentality. Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals is an outfielder who could be traded before Tuesday’s deadline at 6 p.m. ET, and none of the players San Diego included in the deal for Hader were considered to be key choices in their pursuit of him.

San Diego paid a high price for Hader, though. Rogers, who ranks second in the National League with 28 saves, may be the man with the most familiar name in the trade, but he is by no means the most crucial to Milwaukee. When this season is over, he will be a free agent. Ruiz, 23, dominated Triple-A this year, slashing.344/.474/.611, and this month, he made his big league debut. After being selected by San Diego in the second round of the 2021 draft, Gasser is in his first full season of pitching at High-A, where he has struck out 115 batters while walking only 28. Lamet, 30, is the deal’s wild card. He came in fourth in the NL Cy Young voting during the abbreviated 2020 season. Since then, he has struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. In 12 innings this season in the majors, he has a 9.49 ERA, but in Triple-A, he has a 1.93 ERA with a high strikeout rate.

Hader, a four-time All-Star and the recipient of three of the last four NL Reliever of the Year honors, was pivotal to Milwaukee’s recent success. However, the team’s appetite for trading him was never insatiable. However, Devin Williams’ presence—the fourth winner—certainly made a difference. Williams, a setup pitcher for Milwaukee, hasn’t given up a run since May 10; during that span of 30 games, he’s pitched 28 innings of ball with 47 strikeouts, eight walks, and no runs allowed.

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