Source: Padres get Brewers closer Hader in deal

by 24USATVAug. 1, 2022, 7 p.m. 18
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The Milwaukee Brewers traded All-Star closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres on Monday afternoon, sending the most dominant reliever in baseball in recent years to a team that has struggled in late-inning situations this season, sources told ESPN.

The deal, which will send left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser, right-hander Dinelson Lamet and outfielder Esteury Ruiz to the Brewers, came together after the Brewers fielded extensive interest this week on Hader, sources told ESPN.

While the 28-year-old Hader has a career-worst 4.24 ERA, evaluators say his stuff remains elite and that if not for two poor outings on back-to-back days before the All-Star break, his ERA would be under 2.00. In 34 innings this season, Hader has struck out 59 batters, walked 12 and allowed seven home runs.

Milwaukee's willingness to deal Hader, after years of considering it -- including in potential deals with the Padres -- was surprising but not altogether shocking. Hader, who is making $11 million this season, should see his salary jump into the $16 million range in his final year of arbitration next season. After 2023, he'll reach free agency.

San Diego, with a win-now attitude, will replace Rogers with Hader -- and is far from done. None of the players San Diego included in the deal for Hader were seen as central options in their pursuit of Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who could be moved before the 6 p.m. trade deadline Aug. 2.

Still, San Diego paid significantly for Hader. Rogers may be the most recognizable name in the deal -- he is currently second in the National League with 28 saves -- but is far from the most important player to Milwaukee. (He will be a free agent after this season). The 23-year-old Ruiz shredded Triple-A this season, slashing .344/.474/.611, and made his big league debut earlier this month. Gasser is in High-A and has struck out 115 and walked just 28 in 90.1 innings at High-A, where he's pitching his first full season after San Diego selected him in the second round of the 2021 draft. Lamet, 30, is the wild card of the deal. During the shortened 2020 season, he finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting. Injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued him since, and he has a 9.49 ERA in 12 1/3 major league innings this season, but a 1.93 ERA with a hefty strikeout rate in Triple-A.

Milwaukee's appetite for moving a figure as seminal to its recent success as Hader, a four-time All-Star and winner of three of the last four NL Reliever of the Year awards, was never voracious. But the presence of that fourth winner, Devin Williams, certainly helped. In a setup role with Milwaukee, Williams last allowed a run May 10 -- a streak of 30 games in which he has thrown 28 2/3 innings of 47-strikeout, eight-walk, no-run ball.

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