In A Surprise Trade, Milwaukee Brewers Send Josh Hader To San Diego Padres For Four Players

Baseball is loaded with surprises.

On August 1, one day prior to the MLB trade deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres have sent a bit of shock waive through the game with a five-player trade that will feature Brewers All Star closer Josh Hader as the centerpiece.

The Brewers are sending Hader to the Padres for left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet, outfielder Esteury Ruiz and left-handed prospect pitcher Robert Gasser.

While Hader would likely become the Padres closer, it is possible that Rogers will close games for Milwaukee, or work in a set-up role behind right-hander Devin Williams.

The Brewers may also choose to use a committee to close games from among Rogers, Williams, and Brad Boxberger, another reliever with late-inning experience.

Padres Receive:

Josh Hader-LHP-Age 28

Josh Hader is working on a contract that pays him $11M. He has one more year of arbitration before he can become a free agent in 2023.

Hader is 6-3, 180 pounds, and was a 19th round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to Houston in 2013 and then to Milwaukee in 2015. Now he’s heading to San Diego.

Hader has had some recent hiccups on the mound. His July was not typical Hader.

According to, Hader features a sinking, 97 MPH fastball, a slider and a changeup. He uses his sinker 68% of the time. The slider is used on 30% of his pitches.

This season, Hader has saved 29 games. He saved 34 last year. But his ERA has jumped from 1.23 last year to 4.24 now. He is striking out an average of 15.6 hitters per nine innings, while walking 3.2 per nine.

Hader has already yielded seven home runs, three more than all last year.

Hader relies very heavily on striking out the hitter.

Brewers receive:

Taylor Rogers-LHP-Age 31

Four years older than Hader, Rogers was an 11th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2012.

The Twins traded Rogers to San Diego in a multiple-player deal in April this year. Now, he’s on to Milwaukee via trade.

Rogers is working on a one-year contract at a value of $7.3M. Unless extended by Milwaukee, Rogers becomes a free-agent after this season.

Rogers throws his sinking fastball at 94 MPH. He also features a slider, and curveball. Rogers uses his slider 59% of the time, and his sinker on 40% of his pitches.

Rogers has 28 saves, but he has recently lost his closer’s role in San Diego. He leads the National League with 35 games finished.

Rogers leaves the Padres with a 4.35 ERA in 41.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 10.5 hitters per nine innings, while walking 2 per nine.

As opposed to Hader hunting strikeouts, Rogers pitches to contact. His defense will have to be very sharp behind him to achieve his maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

Rogers is 6-3, 190 pounds, and was drafted out of University of Kentucky.

Dinelson Lamet-RHP-Age 30

Dinelson Lamet missed 2018 after having Tommy John surgery. After a late start in 2019, he suffered an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain in his right elbow in 2020. He has been on the injured list several times. The Brewers hope he can return to health and offer them a potential solid arm for the future.

Lamet last pitched for the Padres July 30. He has logged 12.1 big league innings this season.

Esteury Ruiz-OF-Age 23

Prospect outfielder Esteury Ruiz is a 6-0, 169 pound right-handed hitter.

The Kansas City Royals signed Ruiz for $100,000 in 2015 from the Dominican Republic and traded him to San Diego in a multiple-player deal in 2017.

Ruiz has blazing, grade 80 speed. It is his best tool, and one that could cause errors on defenses.

Ruiz does not project to have much power at this point. However, that power could increase with age and more bulk to his frame.

His greatest challenge will be to hit enough to get on base and use that speed. His hit tool ranks below major league average at this early stage of his career.

Ruiz has played parts of six seasons in the Padres development system, and has compiled a statistical line of .281/.360/.457/.817 with 50 home runs and 242 RBIs. He has stolen 218 bases in the minors, while being thrown out 54 times.

Ruiz has struggled to hit big league pitching, but the sample size is minimal. He has hit .222/.222/.333/.556 with 0 homers and two RBIs in only 27 plate appearances.

Defensively, Ruiz projects to be best in center field, as his speed can be dominant in the outfield. He doesn’t have enough arm strength to project as a right fielder

The Brewers hope that Ruiz will continue to add depth to his frame and be able to help them on offense, but clearly, his outstanding speed can be very helpful on both sides of the ball.

Ruiz has become the No. 9 prospect in the Brewers MLB rankings.

Robert Gasser: LHP-Age 23

The Brewers have acquired a solid left-handed prospect pitcher in Robert Gasser.

Gasser, 6-1, 185 pounds, throws a fastball, slider, and changeup that all grade above major league average. He has good command and control of all three pitches, which is a good sign for a young lefty

Gasser isn’t overpowering, but he is a solid pitcher with an ability to throw strikes and dispatch hitters with an economical pitch count.

Gasser was selected by the Padres in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft out of the University of Houston.

Gasser has become the No. 8 Brewers prospect in MLB’s rankings.

Gasser had been pitching at Class-A Advanced Fort Wayne for San Diego. He had 18 starts, and compiled a 4-9 record with a 4.18 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 90.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 11.5 hitters per nine innings, while walking 2.8 hitters per nine.

To this scout, Gasser has a good chance to help the Brewers when his development concludes. He has excellent upside.


The Brewers shocked the baseball world by trading All Star closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres on the morning of August 1, one day before the MLB trade deadline.

Hader has one more year of control before he could become a free-agent. His last arbitration year could be expensive. Now the Padres face that contract situation.

In return for Hader, the Brewers got lefty reliever Taylor Rogers and three other players.

Rogers closed for the Padres, but recently relinquished that role. He can close or set-up for Milwaukee.

To this scout, the Brewers gained three lottery tickets plus Rogers.

Any among pitchers Dinelson Lamet and Robert Gasser or outfielder Esteury Ruiz could have great careers and prove the trade for Hader to be a brilliant move.

This trade is one that will take time to evaluate for the Brewers. It is a perfect example of baseball scouts player evaluations having meaning to a team’s front office.

For now, however, the Brewers have an arm for the back-end of the bullpen to replace Josh Hader, and three players that can return dividends.