- Sports reporter, Kansas City Star, 2002-09
- Writer, Baseball, Baseball Prospectus
- Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus
- Member, Baseball Writers Association of America
- Member, Professional Basketball Writers Association
The Trade: The San Diego Padres acquire LHP Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers for LHP Taylor Rogers, RHP Dinelson Lamet, LHP Robert Gasser and IF/OF Esteury Ruiz.
Now this is a baseball trade! Two contenders, an established superstar closer for an established All-Star closer, a once-hyped pitcher who has lost his luster, and a couple of notable prospects to boot.
The Padres and Brewers are a pair of clubs contending in this season’s National League race. Both appear to be a tier below the circuit’s big three of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and New York Mets. San Diego is pushing to land home advantage in a first-round playoff series, likely against the second-place team from the NL East. The Brewers are trying to stave off the Cardinals in the NL Central race.
How did the teams aid these quests with this trade? What does this move mean for the longer term? How do we even grade a deal like this, which comes at the deadline but feels more like a Hot Stove transaction?
Hader has been the sport’s most dominant reliever since he entered the majors for Milwaukee in 2017. According to Baseball Reference, there have been 131 relievers to record at least 10 saves since Hader’s debut campaign. He leads all those pitchers in WAR, wins probability added and strikeouts. He has struck out 15.4 batters per nine innings during that time — a rate 0.6 strikeouts higher than any of those 131 relievers.
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