Stop buying into the Josh Hader trade rumors, Yankees fans.
If you’ve been paying attention to the New York Yankees this offseason, it’s abundantly clear what they’re trying to do. They’re on a mission to remain under the luxury tax threshold, they’re hoping to bolster the starting rotation, and they want to add cost-effective relievers.
Trading for Josh Hader checks zero of those boxes, yet fans are still holding out hope general manager Brian Cashman pulls the trigger every time the Milwaukee Brewers closer makes his way into such rumors. And here they are again!
Do we really need another lefty closer? We have two. And the Brewers won’t be taking on more salary in the form of Zack Britton or Aroldis Chapman, unless it’s part of a much bigger package. We previously touched upon that, but we highly doubt it’ll happen.
Cashman famously NEVER overpays in trades. Why would he do so now for a closer when he already has two? On top of that, the Yankees just had to pull teeth in a four-for-one swap for Jameson Taillon with the Pittsburgh Pirates. If Cashman is going to deplete the farm system, it’s going to be for a No. 2 starter, not another marquee closer.
In addition to costing a lot of young talent in the form of top prospects, Hader isn’t exactly cheap. Yes, we’d call his $6.67 million salary for the 2021 season a good deal, but he’s got two years of arbitration left, which will see that number exponentially increase. Again, unless the Yankees are moving Britton or Chapman, this move hardly makes sense. It’s too costly from every angle.
What else? Well, the days of super bullpens appear to be over. The 2015 Kansas City Royals created the fad. The Yankees tried to replicate it and it wasn’t enough to get them to the World Series. Stockpiling on starting pitching is what will get you through the playoffs, as we’ve seen in recent years with the Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
If you want a blockbuster deal, keep looking out for the acquisition of a Kyle Hendricks or Luis Castillo. If the Yankees are going to splurge, it’ll likely be for one of those guys. As for Hader, if Yankees fans really want him, enjoy waiting until after the 2023 season.