Since coming into the majors in 2017, closer Josh Hader has been one of the most reliable pitchers in the bullpen. After the San Diego Padres had one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory, the team feared losing their closer in the free-agent market. That was the case, as the five-time all-star has signed with the Houston Astros on a $5-year $95 million contract.
BREAKING: Star closer Josh Hader and the Houston Astros are in agreement on a five-year, $95 million contract, a source tells ESPN.
The deal contains no deferrals. It is the largest present-day value contract for a relief pitcher in baseball history.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 19, 2024
Hader’s contract surpasses Edwin Diaz’s deal from last year, and he will pair up with Astros closer Ryan Pressly in the bullpen for a possibly dynamic duo. With his potential and his skillset, the Astros have a chance to prepare for another deep playoff run. The three-time NL Reliever of the Year will look to dominate the 2024 season as he did with a dreadful Padres team last season.
Josh Hader 2023 Pitching Visuals
Hader mainly throws three pitches, but in 2023, he relied really on just two. His sinker and slider were thrown about 97 percent of the time. Josh only threw his changeup 35 times in 2023. Most of the time, he threw his changeup, but it landed far outside the strike zone. Only 29 percent, ten of his 35 changeups, landed in the strike zone. On the mound, it always seemed like Hader would throw his sinker. That’s because Josh always relied on his sinker regardless of the count, whether 0-2 or 3-2. His sinker struck out 48 batters, the most out of his three pitches, while he gave up three home runs off of his sinker, the only three home runs he gave up all of 2023.
Hader’s All-Star 2023
In 56 appearances on the mound last season, Hader put up a record of 2-3. Through 56 innings pitched, Hader had a 1.28 ERA and 85 strikeouts. Josh had nine appearances where the five-time all-star struck out the side during the ninth inning. If Josh Hader pitches as effectively as he did in 2023, then the Astros have a legit shot at clinching a postseason spot, and perhaps winning another World Series.
Main Photo Credits: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports