Report: Mets Interested In Trading For Brewers' Hader

By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

For the second year in a row, the Mets are interested in trading for a young closer coming off a tremendous season.

According to SNY's Andy Martino, who cited major league sources, the Mets are one of many teams interested in trading for Brewers left-hander Josh Hader. 

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday that Hader is "indeed available," due to his escalating salary and high trade value. Hader, 25, is entering his first year of arbitration and is projected to earn $4.6 million in 2020, although that number could soar higher if his agents successfully argue that he is a player of "special accomplishment."

According to Martino, the asking price for the two-time All-Star is steep -- in the J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil range.

Brewers pitcher Josh Hader reacts after picking up a save to help the Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies on April 30, 2019, at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Images

Last season, Hader appeared in 61 games, going 3-5 with a 2.62 ERA, 37 saves and 138 strikeouts. His 47.8% strikeout rate ranks second all-time among relievers for a single season.

Over his three seasons in Milwaukee, Hader is 11-9 with a 2.62 ERA, 49 saves and 349 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings. 

Rosenthal called the Mets a team to watch in the Hader sweepstakes due in part to the fact that he used to be represented by Brodie Van Wagenen, now New York's general manager. Last winter, Van Wagenen traded for second baseman Robinson Cano, signed free agent infielder Jed Lowrie and pursued a trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto -- all former clients of his.

The Mets made a similar move at this time last year, when they acquired Edwin Diaz, who was 24 years old and had an MLB-leading 57 saves for the Seattle Mariners in 2018. That move, part of the Cano trade, has not worked out so far, as Diaz pitched to a 5.59 ERA and blew seven save opportunities in his debut season in New York. 

Hader would give the Mets an elite closer if Diaz doesn't bounce back. And if Diaz returns to the form he showed in Seattle, the Mets would have a lethal one-two punch in their bullpen and the flexibility to move Seth Lugo into the rotation.