On the surface, the Yankees reported interest in Josh Hader appears to be overkill. But is this a different year and a time when all the stops are pulled out?
The Yankees are “different” this offseason. Brian Cashman tries (convincingly) to offer another narrative, but as Yankees fans, we feel the vibrations in another way.
We see the Yankees going for the jugular, and the signing of Gerrit Cole is likely only to be the beginning of a process that will continue to the July trade deadline.
Exhibit number one is Josh Hader, the flame-throwing strikeout artist reliever from the Milwaukee Brewers. Why the Brewers are trying to unload Hader in a very public way is a mystery unto itself, and a question any team in the mix should be asking.
But several reports indicate the Yankees are in on Hader, which begs the question of why, when the current construction of their bullpen is bested by who – name a team.
Is it the quarterback who gets dropped for a sack by the tackle, but the defensive end chimes into recording a half-sack?
Yankees: Is it a need or a want
Or is it a smart team doing an intelligent thing, pulling out all the stops they can to put the very best team on the field for the 2020 season?
It’s the latter, and Cashman will prove it by offering the Brewers a package they can’t refuse – without giving up the farm.
Overall, the Brewers ranked 16th in team pitching in 2019. Cashman has the answer in J.A. Happ, who will give the Brewers starts and innings with no hiccups.
With a salary on the high side, the Yankees will need to absorb a portion of the $17 million owed to Happ.
The Sweepstakes for Hader loom far and wide, though, with teams like the Mets and Dodgers having a reported interest.
Draw the line – or hold fire?
But is this where Cashman and the Yankees draw the line, unlike their all-out take no prisoners pursuit of Gerrit Cole.
Josh Hader may help to make the Yankees, but not having him on the team will not break the Yankees. So, there is a difference between this and Gerrit Cole.
Josh Hader is gravy on the Gerrit Cole meat. He’d be an excellent addition to the team’s bullpen, but he’s not necessary in the scope of winning a World Championship – whereas Cole is The Piece needed to complete the puzzle.
In the same category lies the addition of a backup catcher and shortstop. For reasons known only to the Yankees, they have their backup to Gary Sanchez in Kyle Higashioka, and a substitute for Gregorius in Gleyber Torres. Fine, so be it.
A time to every purpose…
“There is a time for every purpose,” Ecclesiastes tells us. As we know, the team the Yankees field in April has almost a zero chance of being the same team taking the field in October.
Josh Hader may or may not be added now, but you can bet the house the Yankees will remain on the vanguard for when there is a time and purpose if the Yankees deem it to not be now.
That is the way of the 2020 Yankees, Brian Cashman, and Hal Steinbrenner. Do not bet against it.
I do have a sobering question though – what about Hader’s flying hair?