On December 1st, Ken Rosenthal wrote an article in the Athletic (subscription required) stating that the Milwaukee Brewers were making Josh Hader available for trade. Rosenthal suggested that Milwaukee’s reasoning is based on money: “In their never-ending quest for payroll efficiency, low-revenue teams often entertain ideas that, on the surface, appear to make little sense.” So far this offseason the moves made by David Stearns and Company have reinforced that statement.
Since Hader is now arbitration eligible, the Brewers’ front office obviously feels more compelled to at least dangle the 2018 and 2019 Trevor Hoffman Award winner to other teams. That is why it is not a surprise to see reported interest coming from the likes of the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Mets.
In a follow up piece in the Athletic, Rosenthal identified the Yankees as the most active pursuer of Hader, but he notes that a deal with any club is unlikely. Milwaukee would want a lot to deal Josh Hader. The question is how much would another team be willing to give up. The only comparable swap in the last five years would be the Aroldis Chapman trade between the Yankees and Chicago Cubs that netted the Yankees Gleyber Torres plus three other prospects, and that trade was made at the trade deadline.
The Brewers are reported to be asking for a package that includes at least one top prospect. Players that would have to headline such a package from the teams Rosenthal lists might include Deivi Garcia, Gavin Lux, and Dustin May, plus more in prospect and/or MLB ready talent. Rosenthal suggests teams are hesitant to part with such assets for a reliever, even if that reliever is Josh Hader.