Josh Hader is the best reliever in the National League. This is not an opinion. It is a fact. Hader has won the NL Reliever of the Year Award in three of the past four seasons. The lone season in which he did not win it, his Brewers teammate Devin Williams won the award. Williams was also the NL Rookie of the Year that season. The Milwaukee Brewers All-Star closer earned his 13th save of the year in the team’s 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Friday night. With the save, Hader set a new Major League record.
Josh Hader sets a new Major League record with saves in his first 13 games to start a season.#ThisIsMyCrew
— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) May 14, 2022
Josh Hader in 2022
Josh Hader now leads all of Major League Baseball with 13 saves. The three-time NL Reliever of the Year has yet to allow a run at all this season. In 12.1 innings, Hader has a 0.00 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, and 18 strikeouts. These numbers, of course, are absolutely otherworldly. It is hard to believe Hader could get any better after his dominant 2021. Last season, his third All-Star season, Hader was 4-2 with a 1.23 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 345 ERA+. He also had 102 strikeouts in just 58.2 innings and a 1.69 FIP.
Is Hader Pricing Himself Out of Milwaukee?
The Milwaukee Brewers lead the National League Central Division with a record of 21-12. The second place Cardinals are three games back with a record of 17-14. If the Brewers were struggling this season, Hader would be a valuable trade piece. Obviously, there is no notion to trade Hader, yet.
However, it is notable that the Brewers are paying Hader $11 million this year, his third year of arbitration. Next season will be his final arbitration season, and he is surely going to be paid more next season. After that, he will be a free agent.
Currently, the highest paid relief pitcher in MLB is David Price, whose $34 million annual salary was part of a deal signed when he was a starting pitcher. A better gauge of what Josh Hader can be expected to make in free agency is the deal Aroldis Chapman signed with the New York Yankees. Chapman signed a three-year $48 million deal with the Yankees back in 2020.
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