After coming off his second complete season in the big leagues and winning his second consecutive NL Reliever of the Year Award, Josh Hader filed a record amount for arbitration with the Milwaukee Brewers. However, trade rumors of the 25-year-old southpaw are still floating around and the Yankees could be a fit.
The Yankees might be looking to add another arm to their stellar bullpen after the departure of Dellin Betances, but they may not be in such dire need to do so. After all, Betances only threw 0.2 innings the entire 2019 season and the Yankees found a way to work around that. What makes anyone think that they cannot try this method again?
Hader’s name continues to swirl around in trade rumors, and the Yankees are still one of the names in those rumors. The question is how much will it take to land the arguably best reliever in the game?
For starters, Hader is under team control for four seasons through the 2023 season. If he were in the final year of his contract, the Brewers would still demand a solid return of at least two top-ranked prospects for the services of Hader, simply because he is that good.
Second, the Brewers are still a team that is in playoff contention. The NL Central could be the most competitive division in baseball this upcoming season, and the Brewers are certainly in contention to make the playoffs. Milwaukee isn’t necessarily desperate to trade Hader but if they can get a package of players they cannot refuse, then they can live with trading him. It is going to take a solid package to land the star reliever.
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As for the Yankees, what could meet the standards of the Brewers? To start, the Brewers will want an MLB-ready player that has several years of team control. Miguel Andujar is the first name that comes to mind, and a player that might be able to help the Brewers after losing Mike Moustakas to the Reds this offseason.
Chances are the Brewers will want two top 10 prospects from the Yankees, which could include the likings of No. 4 prospect Luis Gil and No. 10 prospect Albert Abreu. Abreu has dropped over the past couple of seasons in prospect rankings for the Yanks but is still seen as a top player.
I also believe that the Brewers will want that second top 10 pick in case Andujar does not come back as expected since he missed most of the 2019 season. In addition to these three players, there could be a couple of future draft picks that could be headed in both directions.
So in conclusion:
The Yankees might be giving up a little more than they would want to, but if Brian Cashman sees the need for bullpen help, he might be willing to do just that.