Josh Hader shatters Yankees fans' dreams by signing record-setting deal with rival

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Josh Hader fit in the Bronx never made much sense, even as the Yankees pivoted to the idea of a "super bullpen" rather than a Yoshinobu Yamamoto-led rotation.

Now, the "dream" is over, however unrealistic it was from the very beginning. The only issue, of course, is that Hader opted to chase championship dreams with the one Yankees rival that never really seems to go away: the Houston Astros.

Houston and Hader came to terms on a five-year, $95 million deal on Friday afternoon. Though he didn't top the $100 million plateau or pass Edwin Diaz's $102 million pact with the Mets, the Hader contract represents the most present-day value ever presented to a reliever.

Unlike the dreams of Yankee fans, nothing in Hader's contract has been deferred. Guess that's why he and the Dodgers couldn't come to terms.

Yankees don't sign Josh Hader. Astros do! What a world.

So ... I guess ... now's the time we mention that adding a volatile closer from age 30 through 35 on a record-setting deal doesn't feel like the wisest move for the Yankees? Those are the kind of things we're allowed to say, with scorn in our voices, when a guy like Hader chooses a team like the Astros. Sorry, that's just how fandom works.

For as violent as Hader's motion is, somehow the Maryland native has managed to keep his walks in check, except for the brutal stretch he endured immediately after being shipped to San Diego midseason in 2022 (9 walks in 16 innings, alongside a 7.31 ERA and 1.625 WHIP). Whether he remains unhittable as he ages and loses a tick or two of velocity is anyone's guess. The control, at this point, has yet to desert him.

Hader's future contract felt a lot like Aroldis Chapman's big-money deals with the Yankees from the start, and we'll let you decide whether that's a good or bad thing. All we know is that Hader's most famous postseason moment to date involved getting smacked to right field by a young Juan Soto in the Wild Card Game, an image we hope gets replicated when the Yankees open the season in Houston this year. Yuck.