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Josh Hader – Yea or Nay?

There was an interesting discussion on another site regarding whether the Dodgers should sign Josh Hader.  The author supplied some statistics supporting his stance that the Dodgers should sign him:

“Since the 2021 season, Hader has been named an All Star three years in a row, combining for a 2.45 ERA with 103 saves and an excellent 167 ERA+, even after posting a combined 77 ERA+ during the 2022 season. He might not be the same reliever who will strike out over 140 hitters, just as he did in 2018, but he continuously posts impressive strikeout numbers, posting 13.6 strikeouts per nine innings, which is somehow the lowest mark he’s posted since his rookie season in 2017.”

With the DFA of Bryan Hudson, the Dodgers are down to three LHRP on their 40 man: Caleb Ferguson, Alex Vesia and Ryan Yarbrough.  The Dodgers do not have a true closer.  Although they do not believe they need one.  I am more old school and believe they do, but what do I know.

Hader was very insistent that he would not come in to pitch in the 8th inning.  He only wants to close. I beleive he refused to pitch in the 8th in a late season Padres game.

Hader wants more than Edwin Diaz’s 5 year $102MM.  Does anyone see AF agreeing to pay Hader that kind of $$$?  Does anyone think he should?

IMO there are a couple of LHRP that are available that will come with a much less cost: Wandy Peralta, Brent Suter, and Matt Moore.  Depending on what his medicals say, I think Jarlín García could be a consideration.

As far as closers go, I think that is becoming more of a luxury than a need.  Most teams are going to close by committee based on who was coming up in the 9th.  I like the shut down closer, but that is not how MLB is trending.  With Brusdar Graterol and Evan Phillips, I think the Dodgers believe they have the 9th figured out.  If Daniel Hudson is healthy, he figures to be able to close.  Blake Treinen has closed.  The Dodgers are not lacking in relievers with closer experience.

I like Kyle Hurt (RHRP) for 2024 late inning close consideration.  I like Ronan Kopp (LHRP) for 2025 late inning close consideration.  If he does not make the starting rotation long term, Emmet Sheehan has late inning “stuff” and bravado.

The Dodgers bullpen was a real strength for the club.  They had the best bullpen in MLB beginning sometime in June.  The Dodgers do not need to spend $100MM on a closer, even if he is LH.  That was the strength, and it figures to be even better in 2024.

They still need another SP.  If the Dodgers believe they have an extra $100MM, I think they would be better served with signing Shōta Imanaga for the rotation.  I do not believe they spend another $100MM on a starter.

The Dodgers offense figures to be stout enough that they can afford to stick Miguel Vargas or Michael Busch in LF and let them prove they are MLB hitters…or not.

The Dodgers have the bullpen covered in mid-relief, multi-inning relief, and late inning high leverage relief.  Complimentary LHRP could be targets.  I have no idea why Cleveland would even consider trading Emmanuel Clase, but if they are (and it is reported that they are), then Dodgers should be able to put together a package headlined by Michael Busch and Kyle Hurt, to acquire Clase and Shane Bieber.  Cleveland has one LHRP, thus maybe include Caleb Ferguson (or if they prefer swingman Ryan Yarbrough).

I think the only way Cleveland does trade Clase is to package him with the costlier Bieber.  Bieber would be an excellent #5 or #6 in a 6-man rotation.  He is an extension candidate who could assume the same role in 2025-2026.

IMO, Josh Hader is a luxury the Dodgers do not need.

What do you think?




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Pass on Hader, don’t need him. Like you mentioned Hudson, Phillips, Graterol, and Treinen can all close. BP will have Kelly and Freyerisen along with Vesia and Ferguson and Almonte. BP appears to be a real strength and I don’t think it’s necessary to spend $$ there.

Would like to see one of either Vargas or Busch along with other minor league pieces used in a trade for more SP. With Giolito signing with the Red Sox I think Beiber or Luzardo would be a nice addition to the rotation.


I agree. Pass on Hader. The bullpen looks good as is. I also think a few of our of own down there might be a viable option. Hurt and Sheehan have the stuff.

Luzardo (and Imanaga) would be my choice for the rotation but I don’t know why Miami would trade a 4 WAR controllable starter in his prime. Imanaga is just more money, which the Dodgers obviously have.

Still surprised by the money Giolito got. His down trending numbers suggested, to me anyway, he was a strong candidate for a reconstruction contract. But then, look what the Dodgers gave Glasnow.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger


Singing the Blue

I’m another no vote on Hader. Would rather spend money on another starter.

Another consideration in signing Hader is that it would cost us 2 more draft picks because of his QO. That would mean giving up 4 of our first 6 picks. No thanks.


I don’t like his haircut or lack thereof.

Fred Vogel

No on Hader. Not worth the money.
No on Clase.
From Wikipedia ( I know, I know):
Clase was suspended for 80 games on May 1, 2020, after testing positive for Boldenone, a banned PED

If I am correct, another one of these suspensions would consume an entire season.


I think Clase has PED worries. He’s already been suspended for a slew of games and i think (too lazy to check) his next suspension would be a full year


I’ve said this on more than one occasion, but I think the whole notion of the closer is silly. I blame the creation of the Save statistic. It’s convoluted, and is dependent on a very specific order of inorganic circumstances in order for a pitcher to earn that Save. That statistic, in turn, has created a market for closers. Designated closers command big $$$.

Your most effective pitcher should not necessarily pitch in the 9th inning of a close game. The closer mentality neglects the importance of matchups. If your team is facing the top of the order in the 7th inning in a one run game, why isn’t your “closer” pitching against the other team’s best hitters?

I think the Save stat and the closer mystique that surrounds it has also created a prima donna culture among the top closers. Having Hader would be nice, for sure, but I’d rather have 2-3 really really good relief pitchers who you could mix and match based on matchups.

I wouldn’t mind trading for Clase and Bieber. As much as I would like to hold on to Busch as an eventual replacement for Muncy, Max is going to be around for two more years and Busch is blocked. He’s 26 and MLB ready. You can’t stash him in the minors any longer. He just becomes a depreciating asset (and it’s not fair to him).

Clase wasn’t as dominant last year and Bieber’s velo has been down for the last few years, so there’s risk; and my problem with the Dodgers getting any new starting pitcher is the reality that next year will be a logjam with Ohtani, May, Gonsolin and maybe even Kershaw coming back. Why take on Bieber if his ceiling is a #3/4 when you have a glut of #3-4s, especially with the Sheehans, Knacks, Frassos etc. who are almost ready?

Last edited 5 months ago by dodgerpatch

NPB ace Roki Sasaki wants to be posted to MLB after 2024 season despite financial limitations, per reportBy R.J. Anderson


“IMO, Bieber is the right pitcher to trade for because he would not be blocking the Sheehans, Knacks, or Frassos. He would be at the back end of the rotation in 2024, hopefully eating up innings. He would be a one year reclamation project, and be gone in 2025 …”

Just double checked and, yeah, Bieber’s a FA in 25. Alright. I’m in. With Clase being a pretty team friendly deal, I think the asking price would sting. They’re going to want a near MLB ready pitcher or two in addition to Busch.

Singing the Blue

Here’s a link to a Jeff Passan article on Yamamoto. Lots of really interesting background on him, including his training regimen.

He’s got a training guru, Yata Sensei, who approaches things completely differently than Amercian players do. Yamamoto doesn’t lift weights but does lots of yoga and throws a javelin. Sensei will be coming over with YY and I read somewhere that the Dodgers will be bringing him aboard so he might work with some of their other guys as well.

Anyway, this is worth the read (written just before he decided to sign here):
How Yoshinobu Yamamoto became baseball’s most coveted free agent – ABC7 San Francisco (


Considering the pros and cons and a willingness to spend that much more money probably be wiser to spend elsewhere but sure be fun having Hader along with how much the odds would increase come October


Chris Sale traded to the Braves. Wonder how good he could be over there?

Singing the Blue

He could win the Cy Young.
Or he could pitch one game and have his arm fall off.
Or something in between.
There, I think I’ve provided most of the possibilities.

I’d be afraid to touch him with his injury history, but Anthopoulos knows his stuff so I’d take his opinion over mine.


Sale trade could further put pressure on the Dodgers for a RHH

Stole this from Twitter:
Talk about masterclass – Ismael Cruz’s 1st IFA group (2017) after coming from Toronto, max bonus was 300k

Miguel Vargas
Andy Pages
Jorbit Vivas
Eddys Leonard
Guillermo Zuniga
Darien Nunez
Carlos Duran
, the IFA pipeline is just starting 🔥


Oh hell no.


You read my mind.


Hader won’t be signed by the Dodgers and the reason is simple. Hader got a QO. AF signs Hader, he loses two more draft picks this season. Those would be 2-3-5-6. He has already lost two with the Ohtani signing. AF loves his picks, Hader, not so much. In a Motel 6 in Green River Utah. I will be home sometime tomorrow.


We’ll leave the light on for you.


Loop loop LLP


Too bad Justin Turner can’t play left field. I think he would love to be in on this with his hometown team. Fans would love it. He can still hit, and he can probably still play a few infield positions, though certainly not every day. Perhaps at 39 he can pow wow with YoYama’s fitness guru and keep playing for 3 years. Taylor in left and Turner takes his bench role. Yeah, I know, not likely. A different team might do something like that. Not the Dodgers. What is likely is AF will shop for a RH slugger in left.

RC Dodger

I would also love to have JT back on the Dodgers. He would probably take $10-$12 million to return to Dodgers. However, the Dodgers made the business decision to pay $700 million for a full-time DH for the next 10 years. It is probably a great business decision for the owners, but IMO not a good baseball decision.
Locking in Ohtani as the most expensive DH in baseball improves the Dodger offense overall but severely limits their flexibility. Affordable DH options like JT, JDM, Pham and Soler are eliminated as RH mashers who could balance the lineup. Also, Will Smith will now only play when catching and his at bats will be reduced by 100-200 per season to accommodate Ohtani. And other position players like Muncy, Lux, Heyward, Freeman, and Betts would normally DH periodically to get rest or adjust the lineup for the starting pitcher, but not with Ohtani at DH every day. Off the field, JT was a clear team leader for many years, while JDM provided great leadership to young players in his one year with the team.
Ohtani and the other high-priced additions bring an exciting new era to the Dodgers. But bringing in high cost free agents and trade acquisitions usually do not yield championships. The highest cost Dodgers in AAV are now Ohtani, Glasnow, Yamamoto, Betts, and Freeman who are all $25 million plus. None of them are homegrown Dodgers and the top three have never played a game for the Dodgers yet are guaranteed $1.2 billion. Meanwhile, team leaders like JT, JDM, Seager, Kike, and Joc have left, and Kershaw and Buehler are after thoughts. The Dodgers are adding big ticket players, but baseball is still a team game.

Singing the Blue

Buehler – Jeff, you rightfully comment that the Dodgers will wait to see if Buehler regains his Ace form before attempting to extend or re-sign him. If he does show himself to be the Ace we know and love, will they be able to afford him?

They already have 5 very expensive contracts on board for the next umpteen years (Mookie, Freddie, Glasnow, YY and Ohtani). If Buehler is worth extending he’ll be earning somewhere between 25-30 mil per year. Is that doable?

At what point will the Cohen penalty kick in and what does that cost in terms of lost draft picks? The money spent might be secondary to management. Maybe they figure it’s worth the lost picks as well.

RC Dodger

Thanks for your comments Jeff. You make a lot of valid points. But I just disagree with the Dodger’s approach. To each his own. I am old school and favor loyalty to existing players first. You can nitpick about home grown, but JT, Joc and Kike were long time Dodgers and leaders on the team. Their departure was missed. And the Dodgers risk losing their team first culture.

Buehler has been a much better player than Glasnow throughout his MLB career and is a year younger.
Buehler- 46-16/3.02 ERA/1.02 WHIP/2.94 playoff ERA.
Glasnow- 30-27/3.89 ERA/ 1.20 WHIP/5.72 playoff era.
Buehler sacrificed his arm to pitch on 3 days rest for the Dodgers when Scherzer wimped out for free agency. Yet the Dodgers give $136 million to Glasnow who has not thrown one pitch for the team. And Buehler is only being paid $8 million this year. Maybe the Dodgers will extend Walker soon, but they should pay him well before Glasnow gets paid.
i wouldn’t be surprised if Buehler goes somewhere else next year when they pay him $8 million while paying non-Dodgers $700 million/$375 million/$136 million respectively. Ohtani just had his second TJ yet they paid him more than any player ever. Glasnow has never pitched a full season in MLB and is constantly hurt yet they extended him a year early!

Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher this century, yet he has only been paid salaries of $17 million and $20 million the last two years as he produced ERAs of 2.28 and 2.46 while pitching hurt. He sacrificed for the team when he could have demanded $43 million a year like Verlander or Scherzer, but he didn’t. And yet the Dodgers give Glasnow $136 million when he has never pitched more than 120 innings?

Tony Gonsolin made $3 million last year and pitched with a torn UCL to eat innings for the team when it needed starters. The prior year he was an all star with a 16-1 record and 2.14 ERA. Better than any year of Glasnow’s career. He was pitching hurt all of last year but still posted to help the team.

Seager chose free agency but that was after Dodgers failed to extend him. They extended Mookie for $360 million before he even played for the Dodgers and when Corey was making $7 million. Seager has 19 postseason HR to 4 HR for Mookie, and Corey has 2 WS MVP to 0 for Mookie. After Seager earned WS MVP in 2020, the Dodgers made Bauer the highest paid player ever at $42 million per year instead of extending Corey. Then Dodgers traded for Trea Turner in 2021 and Dodgers showed they did not really want Seager.

Players like Buehler, Kershaw, Gonsolin, and Seager are long time Dodgers and epitomize the team’s culture.
The Dodgers are showing that instead of rewarding their own loyal players, they will pay handsomely for external stars or potential stars first. It may very well work out for the Dodgers with high paid free agents like Ohtani, Yamamoto, and Glasnow, but $1.2 billion should pay more than 3 players. And hopefully, since they are shelling out so much money, they can give raises to Buehler, Kershaw and Gonsolin who have actually played for the Dodgers.


I suppose Turner could platoon with Muncy at third if one of Rojas or Taylor were traded. Turner could also be used as a pinch hitter with better results than what Taylor would give in that role.

Turner’s career is just about over anyway so it’s not like we would have him around for awhile.

Assuming Taylor is the Left Fielder, I’m pretty sure Barnes will remain the backup catcher leaving Margot, Rojas, and one of Busch or Vargas to be compared to alternative choices for the Bench. Or maybe Taylor will be on the bench and one of Vargas/Busch will be the left fielder.


I think I’d rather have Turner on the bench than those other guys. His bat anyway.

Taylor is what his numbers say he is. He will be 34 in August so his prime is behind him (2017) and his value is that of a utility player. Last two seasons 89 & 100 OPS+. I have no idea what Margot will do but I don’t expect a lot. Neither does BR.

As is, this team will win with its starters and hopefully hold serve with its bench. I’m still awaiting the next move.

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