MLB Rumors: Josh Hader Has Surprising Suitor In AL Contender

Josh Hader has made it clear: He wants to break the all-time record contract for a reliever—that would mean something north of the 5-year, $102 million deal that Edwin Diaz signed with the New York Mets last year. 

There have been a number of notable suitors tied to Hader this offseason, including big-spenders like the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. But both of those teams lack a lock-down unquestioned closer. The Houston Astros, surprisingly, who already have a longtime set closer, are now said to be "making a push" to land Hader, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Astros also tried to obtain Hader at last season's trade deadline, per Rosenthal. 

Houston recently lost a big piece of their bullpen for the 2024 season, in right-handed setup man Kendall Graveman, who just underwent shoulder surgery. Understandably, they'd want to beef up the 'pen in Graveman's absence, but still surprising that they're looking to usurp Pressly from the closer role, as he's been nothing but excellent for them over the past four years as their go-to 9th-inning guy.

Pressly has gone 14-for-14 in postseason save opportunities for the Astros with a 2.22 ERA and has a current streak of 20 straight playoff games without allowing a run.

Last season, Pressly saved 31 games with a 3.58 ERA. Since becoming the full time closer, he has 90 saves, a 0.985 WHIP and 11.1 strikeouts per nine.

Hader's credentials, however, are even more impeccable. Since 1901, minimum 300 innings pitched, he has the major leagues' top opponents’ batting average at .156  and the best strikeouts-per-nine innings at an incredible 15 K/9. 

Last year with the San Diego Padres, Hader saved 33 games with a 1.28 ERA. 

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports