In a surprise move, the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers traded four-time All-Star Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres on Monday. Hader, 28, has been one of the best closers in baseball over the past five years and led the league in 29 saves, but was shaken up in July and will be a free agent after the 2023 season.
In return, the Brewers receive fellow left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet, outfielder Esteury Ruiz and left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser. None of the Padres players involved in the trade were top prospects who were rumored to be part of the deadline package for Soto. Entering Monday, San Diego is 12 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and in sole possession of the NL’s second wild card spot.
Rodgers, 31, had 28 saves for the Padres before being removed from the closer role by manager Bob Melvin last week. Ruiz, 23, made his major league debut last month after stealing 60 bases in two minor league stints. The 30-year-old Lamet died in 2011, when the epidemic was shortened.
Milwaukee setup man Devin Williams could step into the Brewers’ closer role. The first-round All-Star has a 30-game scoreless streak dating back to mid-May. He missed the playoffs last year after punching a wall and breaking his arm on the night Milwaukee won the division.