Padres: Three big name trade targets AJ Preller could be eyeing

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Josh Hader / Padres
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Padres: Josh Hader is the guy we all expect to end up in San Diego

Like I said. When we saw that initial report early this week, we all assumed AJ Preller had circled back and was closing in on Josh Hader.

In his first four seasons in the big leagues, the left-hander has racked up 15.3 strikeouts per nine, emerging as one of the most overpowering relievers in all of baseball. Similar to Yelich, he plays in Milwaukee – a team that is definitely more of the mid-market mold – and with each passing year, his trade value is going to go down and his contract up.

Adding Hader to the Padres’ bullpen would, at least in my mind, pull them even with the Dodgers in the NL West. That gives them a legitimate ninth-inning presence that, when paired with the team’s current mix of relievers, could wind up being the best bullpen in the league.

The entire NL Central is poised to be pretty brutal, with the lone exception of the Cardinals, who traded for Nolan Arenado this winter. Cincinnati listened to offers all winter without making a move to unload any of their stars, the Cubs are re-tooling and the Pirates are in the early stages of a top-to-bottom overhaul.

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Milwaukee could see this as a chance to follow suit, load up the farm system and prepare for the future. Few players (if any) on their roster hold as much value as Hader and I’d be shocked if he’s still with the Brewers come the trade deadline this summer.