According to a source, Josh Hader and the Astros have reached a record-breaking five-year, $95 million contract.

According to a source, Josh Hader and the Astros have reached a record-breaking five-year, $95 million contract.

A source informed Jeff Passan of ESPN that All-Star closer Josh Hader signed a five-year, $95 million contract with the Houston Astros on Friday, considerably bolstering a club that has made seven consecutive trips to the American League Championship Series.

In terms of present-day value, the deal is the largest ever for a relief pitcher, excluding any deferrals.

During the last offseason, Edwin Diaz and the New York Mets reached an agreement on a five-year, $102 million contract. However, $26.5 million of that salary was deferred, resulting in a present value of approximately $93 million.

Following the announcement that Kendall Graveman, one of the team’s primary high-leverage relievers, would be sidelined the entire 2024 season due to shoulder surgery, the Astros acquired Hader.

Ryan Pressly, who has amassed 90 saves in the last three seasons, will almost certainly replace Hader as the team’s eighth-inning closer due to his presence. However, Hader demonstrated versatility early in his career, handling a variety of assignments.

Irrespective of the outcome, the Astros, who re-enter a large portion of the squad that fell one victory away from the World Series the previous season, will once again field a formidable bullpen, including Bryan Abreu as well as Rafael Montero.

The dual consequence of Houston’s Hader signing is that it eliminates him as a viable option for the division’s rivals.

Throughout the offseason, there was speculation that the Texas Rangers, who upset the Houston Astros in a closely contested ALCS en route to their first championship, were pursuing Hader.

Hader, who spent 2013–2015 in the Astros’ junior league system, was an All-Star in all five of his complete seasons in the big leagues and has arguably established himself as the game’s best closer.

His 153 saves as of the beginning of 2019 are the most in the major leagues. During those five years, he recorded 437 strikeouts, which is 59 more than the closest reliever.

While accomplishing this, the 29-year-old left-handed pitcher has compiled a 2.60 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.

With a nimble frame that aids in optimizing his deception, he delivers a lethal sinker-slider combination.

This combination has earned him a career-high 15.0 strikeouts per nine innings, which is the highest in history among pitchers who have accumulated a minimum of 50 innings.

Unofficially, one of the greatest relievers in baseball is no longer available. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, All-Star reliever Josh Hader reportedly committed to a five-year, $95 million contract with the Houston Astros on Friday.

He ranked No. 9 on Yahoo Sports’ compilation of the top 25 potential signings of this winter.

Passan asserts that the contract, which at present-day value is the largest over a relief pitcher within baseball history, does not encompass any financial deferrals.

By acquiring the best reliever in baseball over the previous seven seasons, the Astros strengthened an already formidable bullpen.

Since his Major League Baseball debut in 2017 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Hader has accumulated the highest fWAR among relievers.

Hader has amassed 648 strikeouts and a 2.50 ERA in 388 2/3 innings as a left-handed pitcher for his career.

It is never a safe bet to devote significant resources to a closer, but Hader has demonstrated consistent dominance in the past.

Except for 2022, when he pitched 50 innings with an ERA of 5.22, Hader has recorded an ERA above league average in each of his major league pitching seasons.

The Houston Astros’ bullpen has received a significant addition. Five-time All-Star Josh Hader and the Houston Astros have reached an agreement on a five-year, $95 million contract, CBS Sports HQ’s James Bowden confirmed on Friday.

After an inconsistent 2022 campaign, Hader, 29, put forth one of his strongest performances for the Padres in 2023.

In 56 1/3 innings, the hard-throwing southpaw recorded 33 for 38 in save opportunities and managed a 1.28 ERA.

He struck out an impressive 35.8% of the 231 hitters he encountered, or 85. Hader is prone to drawing batters, although only a minority of his opponents miss as many pitches.

In terms of average annual value and total guarantee, Edwin Diaz’s five-year contract with the New York Mets continues to be the largest contract ever awarded to a special circumstances pitcher.

The annual value of this agreement is $20.4 million, or $102 million. Before Hader, the New York Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million contract, which ranked as the second-largest reliever contract.

This will be Hader’s second appearance with the Astros, although it will be his first in a major league capacity.

He was acquired by the Baltimore Orioles in July 2013 as a component of a trade involving Bud Norris when he was a prospect.

Two years later, in exchange for Carlos Gómez and Mike Fiers (who was the first pitcher to publicly denounce the Astros’ computerized sign-stealing scheme), he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Hader joins an Astros bullpen that will not have veteran right-hander Kendal Graveman for the season due to shoulder surgery, as was announced earlier this week.

It is logical to assume that Hader will assume the role of Houston’s closer, as Ryan Pressly transitions to setup duty in addition to serving Bryan Abreu as well as Rafael Montero.

Hader represents Houston’s most noteworthy acquisition of the winter. This distinction had previously been held by backup catcher Victor Caratini. Following their most recent participation in the AL Championship Series, the Astros are embarking on a critical season.

In addition to having appointed manager Joe Espada, the team will also have Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman when Justin Verlander is eligible for free agency within the next year.