Josh Hader may be put on the trade block by the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason. According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, that's just the kind of move the Brewers would make. If he is made available, the lefty fireballer would easily be the top reliever on the market and a number of teams would be interested.
In 2019, Hader won the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award. The 25-year-old posted a 2.3 fWAR, a 2.62 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP and racked up 37 saves in 44 opportunities. He also posted a dominant 138 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. Most teams would be thrilled to add a lefty like Hader to their bullpens.
Here's a list of the five most likely destinations for Hader if he does hit the trade block.
New York Mets
The Mets desperately need relief help and Hader is one of the best in the bigs. What's more, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was Hader's agent before taking his new job.
In 2019, New York's relievers posted an ERA of 4.99, which ranked 26th in baseball. Worse yet, closer Edwin Diaz was straight-up awful. In 66 games, Diaz posted a 2-7 record with a 5.59 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He also blew seven saves.
Hader could be brought in while Diaz moves to a setup role. If Diaz doesn't bounce back, the Mets would still have a closer. If he does, they'd have one of the most lethal relief duos in the game. It would also free up Seth Lugo to move back to the rotation if the Mets chose to make that move.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been heading downhill for a while and it might be time for some new blood in LA. Jansen posted a 3.71 ERA and blew eight saves in 41 chances in 2019. He just isn't as effective as he used to be.
The rest of LA's bullpen was pretty good. Dodgers relievers ranked fifth in Major League Baseball in ERA (3.85) but they need an improvement at the back-end. LA has enough good prospects to make a deal work.
The Nats will have some payroll available with several players likely moving on after their World Series win. That would leave room for Hader, who could improve what was the worst bullpen in Major League Baseball in 2019. As a team, Washington had 5.68 ERA in relief last season.
The Nationals have several solid arms in the minor leagues and could likely make a deal, especially for a closer with three more years of control.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are built to compete but they clearly want to cut salary. Hader would be a cheap option that could add a ton of value, especially considering his additional years of control.
In 2019, Red Sox relievers posted a 4.40 ERA, which ranked 17th in baseball. Hader would provide a high-leverage option at the back of the bullpen. Boston used a closer-by-committee approach last season and clearly need to change that calculus.
The Twins won the AL Central going away in 2019 before a quick exit from the playoffs. They'll be looking to add key pieces this offseason to put them over the top.
The Twins got a solid season out of Taylor Rodgers at the back of their bullpen, as he posted a 2.61 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP while saving 30 games in 36 opportunities. But Hader would take that bullpen to the next level.
Minnesota's relievers ranked 10th in baseball with a 4.17 ERA, but there wasn't a real, legitimate shutdown arm among the group. Obviously that's what Hader can be.