Josh Hader
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Rumors have connected the New York Yankees to semi-available Milwaukee Brewers star Josh Hader. The possible move makes sense.

Aaron Case

The New York Yankees just risked a massive amount of cash on ace starter Gerrit Cole. Now they are reportedly exploring a trade for Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader to hedge that bet.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Bombers are leading the charge for Hader. They’re followed closely by the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rosenthal also reported that Milwaukee is fishing for a deal that is extremely lopsided in their favor.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman can certainly offer a package the Brewers can’t refuse. He could possibly offload down-trending J.A. Happ in the process.

Per Bleacher Report’s Adam Wells, Milwaukee is likely looking for starting assistance after its rotation averaged less than five innings per game last season. Happ could be a perfect solution for the Brewers.

New York is actively trying to dump the southpaw. However, he is due to rebound after posting a 4.91 ERA in 2019.

If the Yankees throw in a prospect like Estevan Florial or Luis Gil, the trade just might happen. The move makes perfect financial sense for the Yankees.

However, the team faces a dilemma in regard to re-signing Dellin Betances. The 31-year-old setup man is a four-time All-Star, though injuries rendered him irrelevant in 2019. The Yankees also made it to Game 6 of the ALCS without him.

Betances would likely cost two or three times more than Hader in salary. Hader is expected to make less than $5 million via arbitration in 2020.

New York already has arguably the best bullpen in the MLB. Headlined by flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman and a supporting cast of Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, and Tommy Kahnle.

Adding Hader would give the Yankees a true embarrassment of riches.

Just 25 years old, Hader has earned a reputation as an elite reliever. He’s pitched to a 2.42 ERA in 204.2 career innings. Hader’s been an All-Star each of the past two seasons. He’s done so on the back of his ridiculous SO/9 marks of 15.8 and 16.4, respectively.

One problem with Hader is that he gave up 15 homers in 75.2 innings in 2019. By comparison, Betances has only surrendered 26 long balls in 381.2 career frames.

Despite that bugaboo, Hader would be an extremely interesting addition to the Bronx Bombers. Maybe once he cuts his flowing locks he’ll get some extra zip on his pitches and eliminate the dingers.

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