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Brewers listening on Josh Hader but teams concerned about dip in fastball velocity, per report

The best reliever in the game could be the most-prized target at the trade deadline

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MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly listening to offers for all-star closer Josh Hader according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal says he spoke to rival executives that called the current asking price on Hader “bananas.” Because of that, it’s unlikely that the premiere left will end up going anywhere, especially when teams are only able to trade the players currently in their 60-man player pool.

Hader will likely eventually price himself out of Milwaukee. At just 26, he’s already at a $4.1 million salary and that number should keep escalating with three more years of team control.

In 2020, Hader’s been utterly dominant in just 8 13 innings. He has yet to allow a hit while striking out 13. Robert Murray reports that teams are still concerned after a dip in the lefty’s fastball rate. The Brewers argue that the dip is due to a change in philosophy for the closer, as he’s now throwing the slider 34.1% of the time, way up from the 15.4% in 2019.

Rosenthal points out that while the Brewers aren’t necessarily in position to deal assets, if they do end up trading player, it will more likely be pieces like David Phelps or Alex Claudio than Hader. The team is only 1.5 games out of the playoffs before the Aug. 25 game against the Reds. Being on the fringe during an expanded playoffs and having multiple years of control on most of their players, the Brewers might not be interested in dealing anything.