Over the coming days, I am discussing some of the higher profile upcoming arbitration cases. I rely partly on my arbitration model developed exclusively for MLB Trade Rumors, but will also break out some interesting comparables and determine where the model might be wrong. 2020 projections are available right here.
Josh Hader just barely qualified for early arbitration eligibility as a Super Two, significantly boosting his career earning outlook. He did so on the heels of his first season as a full-time closer. Hader saved 37 games in 2019, after saving just 12 games in his career beforehand. However, Hader has consistently pitched in high leverage innings, accumulating 39 career holds, and has put up phenomenal strikeout numbers and a low ERA. In less than three full seasons, Hader has struck out 349 hitters in 240.2 innings and put up a 2.42 ERA. My model projects him to earn $4.6MM in his run through arbitration.
A typical comparable for Hader would be someone who had a full platform year as a closer, but only limited saves prior to that, while having a lower ERA and a lot of strikeouts. The closest comparable is probably Ken Giles two years ago. He had 34 platform saves (to Hader’s 37) and 65 career saves (to Hader’s 49). He struck out 336 hitters in his career, but just 83 in his platform year. Hader struck out 349 in his career, but had 138 in his platform year. Giles’ 2.30 platform year ERA was similar to Hader’s 2.62, and his career 2.43 ERA was almost exactly spot on Hader’s 2.42. Giles earned $4.6MM. Overall it is not clear which of Giles or Hader should earn more, which means the $4.6MM projection to match Giles is probably about right.
This is reinforced by the fact that the other three players in the last five years with 30 saves in their platform year and between 40 and 65 saves in their career all earned between $4.1 and $4.2MM, each back in 2016. Those were Hector Rendon, Cody Allen, and Jeurys Familia. They all had ERA in the mid 2’s as well, ranging from 2.42 to 2.82.
The one thing that sticks out about Hader beyond that list is his very high strikeout rate. That distinguishes him from all of these other relievers who fell short of triple-digit strikeouts in their platform year. Hader’s 138 strikeouts topped all four aforementioned closers.
Another avenue could be to ignore old-fashioned stats like saves and holds and see if anyone else has similar strikeout numbers out of the bullpen. Ultimately, this was limited. I looked for any reliever in the last five years who entered arbitration for the first time with at least 120 strikeouts in their platform year and 300 in their career. That only yielded Dellin Betances, who earned $3MM three years ago, despite only 22 career saves. (That came after he lost a high-stakes hearing in which he sought $5MM.) That would certainly provide a floor, but it is clear that Hader should be well above this anyway.
Ultimately, I think it is safe to assume he lands close to his $4.6MM projection. I could see some upside if his strikeouts are considered more heavily, but since relievers generally get paid based on saves and holds, I do not think he will exceed his projection by much.
Absolute bargain at $4.6 million
My friend just told me that Passan story about the Cubs deal with the Rockies and Phillies, has legs. Cubs trade Bryant to Phils, Contreras and possibly Heyward to Rockies, with Bohm going to Colorado and Arenado and a prospect going back to the Cubs. There’s other names being talked about as well, to balance out the salaries and that and the grievance are the only things holding it up. Texas was in the mix until they signed Cherinos
They should have a chat for us, the readers. Cool idea I think.
Oh yea, and Hader is really good btw.
Cubs fans don’t deserve Theo
How so theo was just in the right place at the right time he didnt build either the red sox or the cubs he helped but it wasn’t all him. Everyone kept saying the cubs were going to win 5 or six ws they did n9thing he gave Hayward one of the dumbest contracts ever not to mention darvish and then trading for Quintana a 2 at best but paying ace value. Theo and billy bean most overrated ppl in baseball.
thank you for proving my point for me
I dont think you understand what you said. Saying Cubs fans dont deserve Theo means that Theo is too good for the Cubs. Wherels28 said that Theo is overrated (not a good GM) and not worth the hype. So are you saying Theo is a good GM because your post says so. Or are you saying that Theo is a bad GM because you said that Wherels proved your point for you.
Theo has made a couple of poor signings, but he also drafted Bryant, Schwarber, and Happ, He signed Contreras and he also robbed other teams by trading for Rizzo, Hendricks, Arrieta, and Strop. So let’s not pretend like Theo had nothing to do with, or even didn’t have a major part in the success of the Cubs.
Did you actually expect anyone to believe this?
Doesnt sound horrible, depending on the prospects … If im reading this correctly
Cubs- Arenado, prospects
Rockies- Bohm, Contreras, Heyward
That’s an overhaul for the Rockies to get… And Phillies get Bryant for Bohm?
Phillis get Bryant and a pitcher, but I’m not sure if it’s one of the Rockies bad reliever contracts or one of the Cubs (Chatwood maybe?)
Unless Phillies are giving up at least 2 of madina , Howard, Bohm i dont see cubs giving up Heyward, Contreras , Bryant for Arenado
they would hypothetically give up contreras to dump haywards salary but doubt thats part of it. makes the whole thing to complicated. Bohm Bryant Arenado makes a lot of sense for a triangle trade
The source I talk to was a college roommate of one of the Phillies assistant GM’s. I dont know if it’s going to happen but I’m certain it was at least discussed. The reason the Phillies are giving up Bohm but little more is because they are supposedly taking on Wade Davis or Tyler Chatwood (or another bad pitching contract). Surprised Steve called this scenario “laughable” and quickly dismissed Passan. This was absolutely discussed and may still be in play, that I’m sure of.
I think its 100% about dumping his salary cause Cubs want Castillionos… And would have to shed Heyward 23 mil, Bryants 18.5 mil, Contreras 4.5 mil, plus more (Chatwood 13 mil) to take on Arenados 32.5 mil plus Castillionos say 14 -15 mil
Shed 46 mil by moving Bryant, Wilson, Heyward
Add 47.5 mil taking on Arenado-Castillionos
So phillies2020 makes sense, it’s just still a wild deal to to make the money work cubs get a short end of the stick unless the prospect returning are good (Spencer howard or Medina… Doubt Rockies are adding any high end prospects maybe a Riley Pint but nothing big)
What’s the price to Yankee’s for Hader?? Andujar for sure and prob Frazier and their top prospect Garcia. I’d have them throw in Happ too just as a dump. That might be worth it but man I’d hate to see the Yanks get him!
stan lee the manly
That’s an interesting proposal, if it’s a full salary dump of Happ that may be one that peaks the interest of both teams. Yankees fans probably say it’s too high, but for a blocked outfielder and a fairly defensively-limited slugger, that seems to be a reasonable return.
I’m not as familiar with the Brewers money situation, do the Brewers have that kind of space in the payroll?
Brewers don’t need another outfielder, DH (same as a defensive liability slugger) and if the yanks want to dump Happ, they’d have to give a lot more.
In order for Happ to be included in that deal, the Yanks would have to swallow upwards of $8-10MM of his $17MM contract, plus the cost of the second/last year buyout.
Hader’s career IP is 204.2, not 240.2. Rather significant when considering his K totals.
It gotta be nice knowing your getting 4 or 5 million instead of the league minimum.
One issue with this analysis is the fact Hader is super two. Comparing his career numbers to others who had an extra season seems odd.
He should beat Giles’ $4.6M.
I agree. And he is pretty much all around better statistically and that was a couple years ago too I think it said so wouldn’t typical inflation put it above it as well?
I may be wrong but could’ve sworn I seen something about under the current cba Josh Hader has what they deem exemploratory achievements(all-star and reliever of the year). Due to this he may be able to compare himself to every other reliever in the league. Meaning he could easily be double digits. Could be wrong though