4) Josh Hader
The 2021 National League Reliever of the Year, Josh Hader, will be one of the most sought-after arms if the Milwaukee Brewers decide to trade him. The Mets’ bullpen could desperately use a guaranteed shutdown closer and Hader would fit the bill perfectly.
Since bursting onto the season in 2017, Hader has to put together some video game numbers while serving as a multi-inning reliever and closer. Since his rookie season, Hader has 282.1 innings in relief. Over those 282.1 IP, he’s put together a 2.26 ERA, an 0.85 WHIP, 482 Ks and 96 saves.
Hader has established his dominance as one of the premier closers in baseball and what’s more, is how effective he would be against some of the big bats in the N.L. East. The likes of Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and barring a departure from the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman, who are all lefties, would have their work cut out for them late in games facing Hader. Obviously, these three aren’t the only hitters who’d have their work cut out for them, but having a dominant lefty late in games would give a huge advantage to the Mets.
Hader is set to make $8M in 2022 before his final arbitration year in 2023, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent. At that cost, especially in comparison to what other big name relieves like Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendricks have been given, you’re looking at a huge bargain financially,
The incentive for the Brewers to trade Hader has probably lessened since making a playoff appearance in 2021, but with Hader’s departure in free agency rapidly approaching, they could look to move him, in which case the Mets should absolutely be on the phone.