Padres Trade for Brewers All-Star Closer Josh Hader

Friars address bullpen need, sending 4 players to Milwaukee

The Padres have jumped into 2022 trade season and, in true AJ Preller fashion, it's with a move that wasn't on a whole lot of radars.

San Diego has agreed to send four players to the Brewers for Major League saves leader Josh Hader. The lefty is a 4-time All-Star and regarded as one of the filthiest relievers in the game. It's worth noting that he's had some uncharacteristic struggles of late. Hader didn't allow a single earned run in the first two months of the season. In July things just stopped working. For the month, he had a 12.54 ERA and allowed five home runs. Keep in mind, he only allowed three homers in 60 appearances all of 2021.

But, Hader is under contractual control through 2023 and when he's on, he's untouchable, and the way the Padres bullpen has performed this year they needed to take a big swing. San Diego's relievers have blown a whopping 16 saves already, many of those by one of the guys going back to Milwaukee.

The four-player package consists of relievers Taylor Rogers and Dinelson Lamet, along with rookie outfielder Esteury Ruiz and minor league pitcher Robert Gasser (their 7th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline). Rogers was acquired in an Opening Day deal from the Twins and, like Hader, was lights out in the season's first two months. But, the lefty blew back-to-back save chances in Detroit and was removed from his closer duties before their latest series against the Twins.

Lamet finished 4th in the Cy Young balloting as a starter in 2020 but elbow issues moved him to the bullpen, where he has a 9.49 ERA in 13 appearances this season. Odds are the Padres will still be looking to add another relief arm and are definitely looking for an outfield bat.

This move is interesting for a few more reasons. One, it opens two spots on the 40-man roster, which suggests another trade for big league talent is coming (they've been linked to Cubs All-Stars Willson Contreras and Ian Happ, as well as Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo). Two, the Padres didn't touch any of their top prospects, meaning they are still squarely in the conversation to land superstar Juan Soto from the Nationals.

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