Top 10 Mets trade targets when the lockout ends

Sep 18, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) reacts after
Sep 18, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) reacts after / Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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Oct 8, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) pitches / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

6. Mets trade target Josh Hader

I believe Josh Hader is the best reliever in baseball. He's a lefty who might be the most entertaining pitcher to watch not named Jacob deGrom. He throws hard, has a wipe out slider, and a devastating changeup.

The reason he's so not the number one guy on my list is because he's a reliever. Relievers are very volatile. It seems impossible to predict whether they will pitch well or not year after year. I've always been against long-term deals for relievers and am against trading hefty prospect packages for one, no matter how good he is.

Josh Hader is on this list because of how good he is. The Mets absolutely must inquire and see just how much it'll cost them to land Hader. The 27 year old is projected to make $8 million dollars this season according to spotrac and has one more year of team control after that. The Brewers have been toying with the idea of trading Hader for a couple of years now so I believe that trade will happen sometime.

Hader would be a great fit for this Mets bullpen. I'm not a believer in the traditional closer, I'd rather have my best reliever face the toughest parts of the lineup. I believe Hader should be used in the highest leverage spots where a tough lefty might be coming up with Edwin Diaz doing the same with righties.

There is nobody other than Jacob deGrom that I'd trust more to get a guy like Bryce Harper or Juan Soto out in a big spot.

In the beginning of his career, Hader was used in that kind of role. He'd pitch in the high leverage spots at different times during the game. In the 2018 season he made 55 appearances for the Brewers and tallied 12 saves with 21 holds. He recorded three outs or more 31 times and had a 2.43 ERA while striking out 15.8/9. He was an all-star and finished seventh in the National League Cy Young balloting.

I don't think the Mets would or should use Hader for more than three outs often, but it's good to know that he's capable in that role.

In terms of what the Mets would have to give up, I have absolutely no idea. He will probably cost more than I'd prefer, especially knowing the Mets would have to commit long term to Hader, but he's so good to the point where it might be worth it.

Hader went 4-2 with a 1.23 ERA in 60 appearances for the Brewers in 2021. He converted 42 saves in 43 opportunities, the only blown save coming on a home run off the bat of Jose Peraza. Hader struck out 15.6/9 and allowed just three home runs in 58.2 innings pitched, a 0.5 HR/9.

The Mets should not give up prospects like Brett Baty or Francisco Alvarez for Hader, but I'd be willing to potentially entertain some other prospect package for the best reliever in the game.