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Despite a first-place standing in the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers are taking offers on star closer Josh Hader.
Hader was just placed on the paternity list, so he’s out a couple of days.
Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Brewers are willing to listen to offers on Hader. This has been the case for seemingly the last few seasons, but Milwaukee has yet to receive anything they’ve deemed worth parting with arguably the best relief pitcher in all of baseball.
Hader is signed through the end of the 2023 season, so if the Brew Crew are going to trade him, the time is now or this winter, when his value is highest.
The closer has converted 26 of 27 save opportunities this year. Yet, considering Devin Williams is closer material and pitches just behind Hader, perhaps the Brewers deem him replaceable.
MLB rumors: Should Brewers trade Josh Hader? And where?
Trading Hader at the height of contention makes no sense, even with Williams and more on the back end. In the postseason, bullpen play is arguably more important than a strong starting rotation.
A good bullpen can shorten a game, but a great one can play a vital role on a World Series team. Hader and Williams alone can take up three innings relatively unscathed on a game-to-game basis.
Considering Milwaukee has some very capable front-end starters as well, dealing Hader right now rather than making at least one more playoff run in a wide-open National League would be disappointing for a fanbase itching for a championship.