Top 3 Free Agent Destinations For Josh Hader

With 33 saves, an ERA of 1.28, a WHIP of 1.10 and 13.6 strikeouts per nine innings, Josh Hader certainly wasn't to blame for the woeful and disappointing season had by the San Diego Padres. His value on the free agent market this offseason will be sky-high as he re-established himself as an elite closer with very few equals. 

Certainly, the Padres would like him back, and he has said himself, he'd "absolutely" like to come back. 

But will there be a team to woo him with a better offer? 

Let's have a look at three top potential free agent destinations for the 29-year-old Hader.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers did a lot of things right this season (heck, they're looking like a strong World Series contender still active in the playoffs). But one part of the team that is still not too dependable is the bullpen. From Will Smith, to Jose Leclerc to Aroldis Chapman, the Rangers had the second-lowest save percentage in the majors. They finished 24th in baseball with a 4.77 ERA in the 'pen, and 27th in saves with just 30. 

They've added some top-notch starting pitchers this season, now if they could just shore up the bullpen, they'd be the full package. Don't be surprised if they throw a ton of money at Hader this offseason—whatever happens in the playoffs from here on out. 

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles, a contender on the rise in the AL, just watched their beast closer, Felix Bautista, undergo Tommy John surgery, and he'll miss the entire 2024 season. With some surprisingly strong starting pitching (though more is needed) and a wealth of impressive talent all around the diamond, adding Hader might make them the favorite in the AL East once again next season, and then just imagine the Hader-Bautista tandem in 2025!

Atlanta Braves

The Braves have the most dominant offense in baseball, and with the incredible stuff of Spencer Strider and Max Fried at the top of their rotation, they seem set there as well. But one spot where they don't have an absolutely dominant performer is at closer. Oh, Raisel Iglesias has been good. Very good. But he isn't Josh Hader. And with all the long-term contracts they've handed out, we know the Braves are looking to be a dominant force for many years to come. For that, they'll need an unmistakable lock-down closer. Hader could be the answer. 

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