Josh Hader Free Agency Rumors: Astros ‘Making Push’ To Sign

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Josh Hader is the top available relief pitcher on the free agent market and one of the best closers in MLB, but his market has yet to materialize much.

The left-hander is in line to receive a significant contract, and one that could possibly make him the highest-paid reliever in history. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been connected to Hader, but their reported interest has varied.

According to one report, the Dodgers are making an aggressive push to upgrade their bullpen and saw Hader as a potential target. Another suggested the Dodgers are more likely to add a starting pitcher rather than targeting Hader.

Another team that is making an attempt to sign Hader is the Houston Astros, according to Ken Rosenthal and Chandler Rome of The Athletic:

The Astros are making a push for Hader, according to sources briefed on their discussions.

Although it would be somewhat out of line for the Astros, a team that has shied away from signing big-name free agents, their interest in Hader goes back to last season when they showed interest in trading for him:

The Astros’ interest in Hader is not new — they wanted him at the trade deadline last season.

Hader has reportedly been looking to break Edwin Diaz’s record contract, which would be for five or more years and north of $100 million. While it remains to be seen if Hader gets that much, he would be a significant financial commitment to whichever team signs him.

The 29-year-old went 2-3 with a 1.28 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 33 saves in 38 opportunities for the San Diego Padres this past season. He has filled a closer role for the Milwaukee Brewers and Padres over the last three years, and it’s entailed not pitching more than one inning in a single appearance since September 2019.

Dodgers bullpen options aside from Josh Hader

If the Dodgers miss out on signing Hader, they have also been connected to Robert Stephenson and bringing back Ryan Brasier. Both are two of the top available options on the market.

Across 39 appearances for the Dodgers, Brasier pitched to a 0.70 ERA, 2.48 FIP and 0.72 WHIP in 38.2 innings, while Stephenson became one of the top relievers in baseball after being acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays.

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