Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
A historic offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers put them in a new category of spending after adding Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Teoscar Hernández as their headline moves.
Yamamoto and Glasnow addressed their immediate need in the starting rotation, with Ohtani’s future as a starter delayed until the 2025 season after he recovers from elbow surgery. Hernández provides a big right-handed bat to the mix, which also allowed the Dodgers front office to feel more comfortable with their outfield platoons.
The bullpen is projected to have a great deal of experience, filled with options who have pitched at the backend of games. Prior to signing with the Houston Astros, star closer Josh Hader was a name linked to the Dodgers.
In an appearance on Foul Territory, Hader confirmed the Dodgers were among teams interested in bringing him in, although their talks never reached deep stages:
“There were a few good teams. There were a lot of teams that were competitive. Ultimately, we were looking for teams that are very competitive. We wanted to go win a World Series. I’ll give you a few. The Dodgers were one of them. They were in the room, but never fully stepped in. I’d say the Yankees were talking, it never came through. I think a lot of teams, they were interested, but nothing really came from it, so I think that was the biggest thing.”
Hader was the top reliever on the open market, eventually landing with the Astros on a five-year, $95 million contract. His deal includes no deferred money, which makes him the highest-paid relief pitcher in Major League Baseball history.
He’ll earn $19 million a year through 2028, also having a no-trade clause and no option years.
In seven big league seasons, Hader owns a 2.50 ERA with 165 saves in 349 games. His most recent year with the San Diego Padres included a 1.28 ERA with 33 saves, allowing just 32 hits while striking out 85 batters.
Dodgers might’ve tried to wait out Josh Hader market
Like their opportunity with Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers didn’t need to add Hader to their bullpen, but their deep organizational pockets might’ve allowed them to take on a short-term contract with a high average annual value (AAV).
That notion makes it easier to see how having the options in their current bullpen, made Hader more of a luxury option than a must-have piece.
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