San Diego Padres trade rumors: 1 dream scenario, 1 savvy play, and 1 to avoid altogether

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres
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San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

One to avoid altogether: Trading Josh Hader

Over the last few seasons, a coveted closer has been available at the trade deadline. It would be a mistake for the Friars to trade Josh Hader away due to his pending free agency next offseason. The Padres are equipped to secure a Wild Card berth. But the absence of Hader closing out games will be a factor in their failure to make the postseason.

No question, Preller’s phone will not stop ringing as other contending teams are calling to gauge his closer's availability. Hold all calls, as Hader will be a key component to the Friars getting back in the postseason hunt.

Granted, he has struggled during his tenure with the Padres. In 49 appearances, Hader has 25 saves and recorded 64 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched. When he is on, Hader is hard to touch. He throws a high-octane fastball (96 MPH), a slider and a change-up that makes opposing hitters look feeble at the plate.

If the Padres trade Hader, they will be waving the white flag for the 2023 season. It is hard to contend for a World Series without a premier closer in the bullpen.