MLB Execs Unanimous In Josh Hader's Free Agency Landing Spot

The top closer on the free agent market this winter is unquestionably Josh Hader. The former Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres flamethrower has been the top lockdown 9th-inning reliever for several years now (except for a blip when he first went to the Friars at the 2022 trade deadline). 

Many top teams in need of a shutdown option in the 9th will be pursuing him, but there's one team that experts believe are not only a frontrunner to land Hader, but as close to a certainty as can be. And the baseball world should be very scared. 

It's the World Series champion Texas Rangers. 

After all, they won the title with the bullpen being, essentially, their weakest link. Obviously, it didn't matter in this year's postseason run for them, but they'll be looking to fortify their chances at a repeat in 2024.

According to Insider Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

It’s hard to find a single executive who isn’t predicting that Hader will ultimately be a Ranger. 

And hey, why not? They've struck gold with their insane free agent spending the past couple of years, so they know it works for them. 

Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Nathan Eovaldi, and Andrew Heaney were all big contributors to their 2023 success. Jacob deGrom?... Ok, they get a pass on that one. 

Aroldis Chapman and Jose Leclerc more or less got the job done in the postseason run, but it was certainly not the team's strongest suit. 

Yes, the Rangers will also make a big run at Shohei Ohtani, and probably starting pitchers like Aaron Nola and their own incumbent Jordan Montgomery. 

But Hader, from all accounts inside baseball, sounds like almost a certainty. 

Photo: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports