The Houston Astros and free agent reliever Josh Hader have agreed to terms on a five year, $95 million deal, per reports.
Hader, who turns 30 in April, has been one of the best relievers in baseball since his debut I. 2017, save and except for 2022, when he put up a 5.22 ERA in 50 innings between Milwaukee and San Diego. That off year was sandwiched between a 2021 season where he put up a 1.23 ERA in 60 appearances and a 2023 season where he put up a 1.28 ERA in 61 appearances.
The Rangers had been rumored to have interest in Hader, though between costing the signing team a second round draft pick and the likely high price he would command, I was cool on the idea, personally. Seeing the dollar value — reportedly the largest contract on present value terms for a reliever in MLB history — I am glad the Rangers passed. There are, I think, better ways to spend $95 million.
It is also curious that the Astros, of all teams, are the ones making the plunge on Hader. They’ve had a lot of success in the past decade cranking out pitchers from their farm, or finding unheralded guys they could get more out of. This is the sort of pitcher who, in previous years, it seems like they wouldn’t spend big for.