In surprising news, the San Diego Padres made their first move of the trade deadline, trading for Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. The Padres sent struggling closer Taylor Rogers, Esteury Ruiz, Robert Gasser, and Dinelson Lamet to the Brewers, who are atop the NL Central.
Hader was one of the best closers in baseball since 2019, having posted an ERA below 3.00 in every 162-game season in his career before 2022. He’s a four-time All-Star, received Cy Young votes in 2018, and posted a spectacular 1.23 ERA in 2021. He’s also a three-time winner of the NL Reliever of the Year award (2018, 2019, and 2021), the most a player has won the award.
The return on Josh Hader to Milwaukee is significant: left-handed closer Taylor Rogers, lefty pitching prospect Robert Gasser, outfielder Esteury Ruiz and right-hander Dinelson Lamet, sources tell ESPN. Hader will be a free agent after the 2023 season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2022
Hader has struggled tremendously in 2022, having only managed a 4.24 ERA thus far this season. He was his usual spectacular self early, recording a 1.09 ERA through the end of June. However, just like Rogers, his fortunes have turned of late. He had a 12.54 ERA in July, which led the Brewers to make the move to replace him. He is still the MLB saves leader, with 29 saves.
Hader is under team control through the end of the 2023 season, meaning the Padres will get 1.5 years of Hader. He will immediately step in to be the Padres closer, while Luis Garcia will return to his role as a setup man.
Rogers’ struggles in a Padres uniform are well documented, while Ruiz made his major league debut just a month ago. Gasser has yet to appear in the major leagues, while Lamet has yet to return to his 2020 form. Lamet finished 4th in NL Cy Young voting in the shortened season, but he’s posted an ERA north of 8.00 since his return from Tommy John surgery.
The Padres managed to make the move without surrendering top prospects Robert Hassell III, Adrian Morejon, James Wood, MacKenzie Gore, and Luis Campusano. All five of those players have been the main prospects rumored to be involved in a potential trade for Juan Soto, which means that the Padres are still in the running for the deadline’s biggest prize.
It’s the opening act in a trade deadline that could prove monumental for the Padres’ future.