An American League rival got stronger, as the Houston Astros have signed Josh Hader

Ryley Delaney
5 months ago
It finally looks like the Major League Baseball off-season is heating up.
On Friday, it was reported by Jeff Passan that one of the best relievers of all time – Josh Hader – had agreed to a deal with the Houston Astros worth $95 million over five seasons.
The 29-year-old left-handed pitcher has been nothing short of phenomenal in his career, posting a 2.50 ERA and a 2.73 FIP in 388.2 innings pitched, all in relief. On top of the incredibly low ERA and FIP, Hader has a career 42.2 K% as well as a 10.2 BB%.
Last season was a great one for Hader in San Diego, as he had a 1.28 ERA and a 2.69 FIP in 56.1 innings pitched, along with his lowest K% since the 2017 season at 36.8%, while walking 13% of batters, a career worst.
The former Brewer’s best career season was in 2021, when he had a 1.23 ERA and a 1.69 FIP in 58.2 innings pitched, including a 45.5 K% and a 10.7 BB%. Hader struggled in 2022, posting a 4.24 ERA and a 3.47 ERA in 34 innings pitched before being traded to the San Diego Padres. In total, he finished the 2022 season with a 5.22 ERA and a 3.45 FIP, but it ended up being a great trade for San Diego.
Toronto was never linked to Hader as their bullpen depth is pretty strong heading into the 2024 season. As it stands, Jordan Romano will close, Erik Swanson will set up, Tim Mayza will be their lefty in high leverage, with some other combination of Yimi García, Chad Green, Trevor Richards, Génesis Cabrera, and either Yariel Rodríguez or Mitch White.
Hader obviously would have made the Jays bullpen better, but giving the biggest present-day value (no deferrals) contract to a reliever would be less than ideal for the Jays.
The Astros certainly got better with this signing, as they now have a strong one-two punch of Hader and Ryan Pressly in the pen. It’s also worth noting that former Blue Jay prospect, Kendall Graveman, will miss the entirety of the 2024 season due to shoulder surgery. So the Astros may have felt it necessary to replace him with one of the best closers of all time.

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