Padres Rumors: Is a Josh Hader blockbuster about to play out?

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?

That’s what Padres fans are hoping. Speculation on Twitter ranging from a trade for Brewers All-Star closer Josh Hader to packages including Lorenzo Cain or former NL MVP Christian Yelich are swirling – putting Friar Faithful on the edge of their seats tonight.

Now, more than a few of you were ready to run me out of town last month when I took over Friars on Base and I suggested AJ Preller go all-in and pull the trigger on a deal for Hader. Since then, San Diego has added two late-inning arms in Keone Kela and Mark Melancon, so it’s worth wondering if it’s worth using up your prospect capital on a reliever right now.

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Since breaking onto the scene back in 2017, Hader has been nothing short of dominant, working to a 2.54 ERA across 223 2/3 innings of work, averaging 15.3 strikeouts per nine. He had a ‘down’ year by his standards in 2020 – and still posted a sub-1.000 WHIP. At just 26 and with multiple years of control remaining, he won’t come cheap.

Padres: For now this is just speculation

No national writers have confirmed anything of the sort, but that hasn’t stopped Padres Twitter from seizing the above tweet and running with it full speed. Trading for Hader is a long shot (although that’s never stopped Preller in the past) – but the thought of somehow adding Yelich to the deal is something MLB The Show actively keeps you from doing in video games.

Yelich, a three-time Silver Slugger winner and two-time batting champion, is signed to a nine-year, $215 million deal that runs through the 2028 season. A Thousand Oaks, CA native, there’s an obvious connection to a team like the Padres. Again, this is pure speculation – but envisioning this lineup with the former MVP in the mix is the stuff of dreams.

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We’ll keep you posted when and if anything transpires. Normally, I wouldn’t bother even covering something like this. But when it’s Preller, well, nothing is really ever off the table.