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Rosenthal: Brewers could trade Josh Hader

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I'm of the opinion that relievers should very rarely ever be traded for, or signed to large or long contacts. There's just too much volatility there. 

Josh Hader has been one of the best relievers in baseball for three years. For all but a select few relievers, that means his era of dominance is likely nearing it's end. Relievers don't generally enjoy a slowly diminishing skill set, but a mountain top followed by a cliff. 

When you have a good reliever, hold onto him for as long as he is inexpensive and effective. Neither of those are bound to last very long. Don't sign a reliever for tens of millions, or for more than two years unless they're clearly part of that rare elite but durable class and certainly don't trade actual prospects for them. That's how teams like the Angels lose Mike Clevinger. 

Develop relievers from the minor league system, many of which will likely be starters that topped out in AA but can throw the ball hard for 20-30 pitchers at a time. Or pluck them off waivers. And if you do trade for them, just do it for cash considerations. 

Billy Eppler has built a strong bullpen organically, without sacrificing prospects or long term deals. The one mistake he made was to spend 8 million on one of those relievers, and we all know how that turned out, with Cody Allen. And sometimes you won't be able to keep them all. Kirby Yates and Daniel Hudson immediately come to mind. But more often than not, Eppler has identified successful MLB relievers that can be had for the league minimum.

I see no reason for this team to stray from this model.

Edited by Second Base

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1 minute ago, arch stanton said:

iF HE'S HAVING A GOOD SEASON AND COULD PUT THE TEAM OVER THE TOP YOU CONSIDER IT BUT OFF SEASON SEEMS LIKE A RISKY USE OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES

YellingAbout.gif

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12 minutes ago, arch stanton said:

If he's having a good season and could be what puts you over the top then maybe but off season seems like a risky use of financial resources

The Angels were near the bottom of baseball in overall contributions by starting pitchers. Blowing a lot of the capital that could be used to address the elephant in the room by being distracted by the shiny new closer seems foolish to me. A closer isn't much good if you're always down by three runs in the late innings.

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12 hours ago, Second Base said:

I'm of the opinion that relievers should very rarely ever be traded for, or signed to large or long contacts. There's just too much volatility there. 

You took the words out of my mouth. If the Angels devote their assets/money to anything other than starting pitching, I will be disappointed. If they do so for a reliever who will likely never again reach his past level, I will be disgusted. I don't want us to be talking about a "must win" game next September when Heaney is taking the mound. Fix the starting pitching. 

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12 hours ago, Vegas Halo Fan said:

The Angels were near the bottom of baseball in overall contributions by starting pitchers. Blowing a lot of the capital that could be used to address the elephant in the room by being distracted by the shiny new closer seems foolish to me. A closer isn't much good if you're always down by three runs in the late innings.

 

12 hours ago, Tank said:

It never hurts to kick the tires and see what it’d cost to get him. I’d love to have him here.

Yeah @Vegas Halo Fan give it a chance, don't be a hader!!!!

 

Don't worry I am just josh'in around with you.

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The Angels need to find the "next Josh Hader" and not this one.  I know that's easier said than done.  Chasing relievers based on their past performance seems like a road that's certain to lead to disappointment.  I'd really like to know more about what the Angels are doing and plan to do with player development. 

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6 minutes ago, True Grich said:

The Angels need to find the "next Josh Hader" and not this one.  I know that's easier said than done.  Chasing relievers based on their past performance seems like a road that's certain to lead to disappointment.  I'd really like to know more about what the Angels are doing and plan to do with player development. 

One way to do this, is to develop so many starters in your farm system that you wind up having so many you take one of the good ones and throw them in the bullpen.

Hader was supposed to be a starter originally.

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3 minutes ago, True Grich said:

Didn't they draft a lot of pitchers list year?  Maybe they're on that track?

Actually I would not be surprised to see one of our current 40-man guys used in that capacity this year. Suarez or Sandoval are possibilities, perhaps. Really will depend on the starting five's health this season.

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14 hours ago, Second Base said:

I'm of the opinion that relievers should very rarely ever be traded for, or signed to large or long contacts. There's just too much volatility there. 

Josh Hader has been one of the best relievers in baseball for three years. For all but a select few relievers, that means his era of dominance is likely nearing it's end. Relievers don't generally enjoy a slowly diminishing skill set, but a mountain top followed by a cliff. 

When you have a good reliever, hold onto him for as long as he is inexpensive and effective. Neither of those are bound to last very long. Don't sign a reliever for tens of millions, or for more than two years unless they're clearly part of that rare elite but durable class and certainly don't trade actual prospects for them. That's how teams like the Angels lose Mike Clevinger. 

Develop relievers from the minor league system, many of which will likely be starters that topped out in AA but can throw the ball hard for 20-30 pitchers at a time. Or pluck them off waivers. And if you do trade for them, just do it for cash considerations. 

Billy Eppler has built a strong bullpen organically, without sacrificing prospects or long term deals. The one mistake he made was to spend 8 million on one of those relievers, and we all know how that turned out, with Cody Allen. And sometimes you won't be able to keep them all. Kirby Yates and Daniel Hudson immediately come to mind. But more often than not, Eppler has identified successful MLB relievers that can be had for the league minimum.

I see no reason for this team to stray from this model.

Clevinger wasn't a highly rated prospect at the time he was traded for Pestano. He wasn't a high draft pick, and had 4.41 ERA in his first season at A ball the year he was traded. I don't know what his record was when he was traded vs. after as it's just a summary of the whole year. Regardless, wasn't setting the world on fire. He had a 9.56 ERA in rookie ball, and hadn't been healthy in three previous years managing just 14 appearances (11 starts) ove the 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons.

I don't think you trade for Hader, but you have to trade quality to get quality, and the Angels did need relief help at the deadline in 2014.

Still, yes, you are right in that relievers are a hard commodity to actualize, and that their performance swings from year to year are much more frequent now than ever before in the past...

 

 

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