For all of his magnificent talent, trading for filthy southpaw Josh Hader could generate much more damage than good the New York Mets.
Josh Hader is one of the best closers in baseball and he’ll come cheap, salary-wise. Hader is only set to make about $4.6 million in 2020. That should fit into the New York Mets‘ tight budget.
From a salary and talent standpoint, it would be hard to find a better player for the Mets than Hader. Unfortunately, salary and talent aren’t the only considerations.
Hader has a history of character issues that have colored his career. He would also cost a significant amount in major league players and prospects.
The cost to trade for him and the circus his issues could bring severely outweigh the much-needed talent and salary relief.
The Exorbitant Cost
According to reports, the cost for Hader would be exorbitant. The Brewers would bee looking to acquire one of J.D. Davis, Dom Smith or Jeff McNeil in the deal, per Andy Martino of SNY.
If the deal centered around Jeff McNeil, it would have to be a one-for-one transaction. Even then, it doesn’t make much sense. Why would the Mets trade an All-Star everyday player for a reliever? That doesn’t make much sense for anybody (other than the Milwaukee Brewers).
In the case of J.D. Davis, the trade could make sense. Davis enjoyed a breakout 2019, but the Mets don’t have a place for him to play. Davis an awful defender at both third base and left field. It’s also not likely Davis would be able to repeat the success he had last year.
His peripherals suggest a steep decline. His BABIP was .355 and he hit the ball on the ground 41.7% of the time. Those two numbers don’t tend to go together. The fact, they did means that Davis got extremely lucky in 2019.
Trading him now would equate to trading him at his highest value. It makes sense. However, he wouldn’t be enough for Hader alone. It would likely cost the Mets a top prospect on top of Davis to get a deal done.
Would New York Mets fans dive into Josh Hader head first IF the Brewers make him available and IF the price is this high? #LGM
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) December 2, 2019
Trading Davis and a prospect like Andres Gimenez for Hader is fair value, but not something the Mets should be doing. The team already has depth issues both at the major league level as well as down on the farm. Making a deal like this would only aggravate those problems.
Lastly, trading Dom Smith makes all the sense in the world. The Brewers lack a first baseman for the future and Smith has no future with the Mets thanks to Pete Alonso, the man the kids call the Polar Bear. He’s a first base only prospect who had to play left field just to get playing time. He hit well last season before getting hurt and his value should be as high as it could be expected to be at this point.
Moving him in a deal for Hader makes sense. However, it would cost a ton with Smith to get a deal done. He’s the least valuable commodity on this list, but he makes the most sense for the Mets to trade.
Acquiring Hader would likely cost the Mets Smith, a prospect like Gimenez and a prospect like Josh Wolf to get a deal done. That’s a lot in prospect depth for the Mets to give up, even if they can afford to lose Smith they can’t afford to lose two of their top-10 prospects.
There is no scenario in which the New York Mets come out on top in this trade in terms of value. It will cost them a ton to get Hader no matter how the deal looks. A reliever, even one as good as Hader, isn’t worth this price.
Hader has a history of racism that nobody should want in the Mets’ locker room. When he was 17-years old, he made a number of racist tweets supporting white power and the KKK.
They were vile statements that show a pattern of racist thinking at a young age. Hader has since apologized for making the tweets. It’s even possible that he has reformed himself and is no longer a racist.
That doesn’t really matter, though. Acquiring Hader would bring down the wrath of the New York media and New York Mets’ fanbase. Hader and the team would be hit on all sides for his racist remarks.
Is that something that the always press concise Wilpons want for their team? It’s hard to say because the team has employed a number of immoral players over the years. The most recent examples being Jose Reyes and Jeurys Familia, both of whom had issues with domestic violence.
The team had no issue with protecting him or bringing them back to the team. It’s entirely possible that the Mets don’t view character issues as something that really matters. If that’s the case, expect to see more connections to Josh Hader.
However, considering the cost in players and prospects to acquire him it doesn’t seem worth it to acquire a player who would bring a media circus with him.
Despite the filthy talent Josh Hader is equipped with, the New York Mets need to avoid him. He isn’t the solution to their problems. He’s only going to bring more of them.