Josh Hader Trade Rumors: Padres, Rays Interested Suitors for Brewers Star RP

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2021

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader celebrates after getting St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt to fly out in foul territory for the final out of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in St. Louis. The Brewers won 3-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

If the Milwaukee Brewers want to trade Josh Hader, there are reportedly two World Series contenders who are at least showing interest in the All-Star closer.

Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays are among the potential suitors for Hader. 

It's unclear if either team has made an offer to the Brewers, but Passan did note both teams have the means to create an attractive trade proposal:

"While spending big money on relievers isn't the Rays' style—and Hader could cost more than $30 million for the next three seasons—they have the deepest farm system in baseball and a manager in Kevin Cash who has proved deft with his bullpen touch. (Save the Game 6 cracks. It's true.) San Diego, on the other hand, could use a traditional closer, and general manager A.J. Preller could dip into his rotation depth to land a reliever of Hader's caliber."

The Brewers have been shopping Hader at various points in each of the past two years, though nothing has come of them possibly because of a high asking price by the team. 

Things don't appear to be any different at this point. Robert Murray of FanSided reported on Tuesday that Milwaukee's asking price is said to be "overwhelming," because the team believes him to be "the best left-handed reliever in baseball."

Hader will earn $6.675 million in 2021 and has two more years of arbitration remaining. 

The Rays are among the most creative teams in Major League Baseball with how they manage their pitching staff. Their relievers lead MLB with 1,041.2 innings pitched over the past two seasons. Their 3.62 ERA during that span ranks third in the league. 

Tampa's formula worked in 2020, with the team advancing to the World Series before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. 

The Padres are building a potential superteam after acquiring Blake Snell and Yu Darvish to anchor their starting rotation. Their bullpen tied for 13th in MLB last season with a 4.38 ERA.

San Diego had a breakout season in 2020. The franchise made the postseason for the first time in 14 years with a 37-23 record, but were swept in the National League Division Series by the Dodgers. 

Last season was the worst year of Hader's career, though it came in a limited sample size of just 19 innings. The 26-year-old posted a 3.79 ERA with 31 strikeouts and eight hits allowed in 21 appearances. He did lead the National League with 13 saves in 15 opportunities.