Yankees: This Josh Hader trade with Brewers could actually work

The Yankees will be connected to Brewers reliever Josh Hader every offseason until he’s traded. It’s just science.

Although he threw a no-hitter for a good portion of the shortened 2020 season, Josh Hader’s year ended up being rather middling (by his standards), as the Brewers found themselves mired in the worst position a team can be: the muddy middle.

Hader wrapped the season with a 3.79 small sample size ERA, striking out 31 in 19 innings as his Brew Crew limped to an under-.500 record and bizarre playoff appearance without much merit.

As any team firmly stuck in between contention and a sell-off should realize, there shouldn’t really be a debate when it comes to clearing out relievers who are at or near their peak. Hader’s value, probably never higher than after 2019, will only fall — and plus, the Brewers discovered a potentially more dominant reliever in Devin Williams during the 2020 season. It can be done.

In both 2018 and 2019, though, Hader put up strikeout numbers like he was a left-handed Dellin Betances, and if the Yankees can find a deal they’re comfortable with here, it would be worthwhile for both parties to pursue the hookup.

Regrettably, it must be mentioned that Hader comes with off-field baggage just like Aroldis Chapman does. While it sometimes feels as if the Yankees are operating with a Chapman Curse hanging above them like a cloud, Hader’s immature and, frankly, racist old tweets dominated the narrative in 2018 during the All-Star Game and beyond. If he comes to the Bronx, you can guarantee they will be unearthed once more (and rightfully so).

With Chapman, the Yankees were willing to swallow the pill of his behavior in part because he was available at a discount, as disgusting as that logic is. With Hader, that would not be the case.

We anticipate that the Brewers will be one of many teams to request a conversation about left fielder Clint Frazier as the basis for a deal, and with each passing month, it seems like the Yankees will find a way to deal him in a mutually-beneficial trade. We also hate to bring this up, but with the way the Yanks disrespected Deivi Garcia at year’s end, it seems clear they will be relying on other arms in 2021 if given the chance; odds are high he’ll also be a part of this package.

Add in No. 5 prospect Luis Gil, and you probably have a deal.

Is that a hefty price to pay for a reliever like Hader? Of course. Should they do it? We’re going to say that they should likely pass. But if New York earnestly believes Frazier and Garcia have been boxed out of their future, that’s an offer Milwaukee couldn’t turn down.