Brewers reliever Josh Hader emerged as a potential trade candidate at the start of the month. The lefty is under team control through the 2023 campaign and is set to earn just $4.6 million in 2020.
Hader being available should have teams calling the Milwaukee Brewers about what it will take to acquire the two-time All-Star. The New York Yankees appear to have taken that first step.
The deal remaining "unlikely" makes sense considering Hader won't hit the open market until 2024. That's a lot of team control over the 25-year-old, and thus Milwaukee could demand a large haul in exchange for the coveted southpaw.
The Yankees already have over $40 million invested to their 2020 bullpen, but that group would only get better with Hader in the mix. He would join Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton to give the Yankees a rare trio of dominant left-handers out of the bullpen.
What makes Hader so enticing is his ability to stretch an outing across multiple innings. Unlike a typical reliever, Hader has the stamina to last for more than one frame, all the while racking up ridiculous strikeout numbers.
In 2019, Hader acted as Milwaukee's closer, notching a career-high 37 saves while fanning 138 batters in just 75.2 innings, good for a 16.4 K/9. After three years in the league, Hader has established himself as arguably the game's best relief pitcher, and adding him to the mix in the Bronx would be nothing short of lethal.
However, the price tag simply may be too much for Brian Cashman and Co. to work out a deal.