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#pounditThursday, July 25, 2024

Report: 1 AL team making push to sign Josh Hader

Josh Hader smiling.

Aug 2, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) walks off the field after defeating the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent closer Josh Hader may be moving closer to a new and somewhat surprising team.

The Houston Astros are making a push to sign Hader, according to Ken Rosenthal and Chandler Rome of The Athletic. Hader is seeking a record deal for a reliever that would surpass the five-year, $102 million deal Edwin Diaz previously signed with the New York Mets.

The Astros’ interest in Hader is not necessarily new, but it is a surprise. The team has an established closer in Ryan Pressly, but clearly see an opportunity to upgrade. The interest may also be motivated by the recent loss of setup man Kendall Graveman, who underwent shoulder surgery and is likely to miss the entire 2024 season.

Hader remains arguably the game’s best closer. The 29-year-old posted a 1.28 ERA for the San Diego Padres last season, making his fifth All-Star team while collecting 33 saves. With his long track record of success, he would fortify the back end of the Houston bullpen, though adding him would raise questions about how manager Joe Espada plans to deploy his late-game arms.

Earlier in the offseason, Hader was linked to one of the Astros’ division rivals, which could be another motivating factor for Houston.

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