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Spring Training begins in just a few weeks, but the MLB offseason remains full of surprises.
While the likes of Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado have already been dealt thanks to a flawed MLB luxury task system and greedy owners (some might say, several All-Star caliber players remain on the trade market.
As pitchers and catcher report to camp and, inevitably, injuries occur and flaws are exposed, expect the trade market to pick up in what’ll be on final push to prepare the best possible roster for Opening Day.
Last year’s COVID-19 shortened 60 game season has this group of 30 owners in flux, forced between a rock and a hard place of improving their franchise by financial means or selling off assets in a cold, harsh winter. For those willing to go further into the red, there’s more opportunity ahead.
These four trades could happen before the first pitch on Opening Day
Josh Hader traded to the Philadelphia Phillies
Hader’s name was last mentioned in late January by FanSided’s Robert Murray, who stated in his Inside the Clubhouse column that the Milwaukee Brewers remain willing to listen on offers for their elite right-handed closer. For now, it appears Milwaukee is waiting for an overwhelming offer of MLB-ready talent and prospects, that as of yet hasn’t materialized.
“The odds remain heavily in favor that Hader returns for a fifth season in Milwaukee. But as long as the Brewers are listening, the door is open for another team to make an offer that they can’t refuse,” Murray wrote at the time.
Hader is arbitration-eligible the next few seasons, hinting that the Brewers won’t be able to afford him forever. The emergence of Derwin Williams gives them a potential replacement, as well.
For the Phillies, Hader makes a lot of sense. They were linked to him once before at the end of last August, and despite the addition of Archie Bradley, trading for Hader would all but end their league-worst bullpen issues in one swoop.
Could the newly-aggressive Dave Dombrowski convince ownership to make such a daring trade?