Here is one former Brodie Van Wagenen client that the haters — and perhaps even the Haders – can agree would be a perfect fit for the Mets.
The Brewers have made All-Star strikeout machine Josh Hader available this winter, and the Mets’ desperate need for bullpen help makes them “one team to watch,” according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
The lefthanded Hader won the Trevor Hoffman Award as the top reliever in the National League in each of the past two seasons, registering a 2.52 ERA over 116 appearances with a whopping 281 strikeouts in 157 innings.
Hader, still only 25 years old with four years of contractual control remaining, is projected to earn around $4.6 million this season in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
He is represented at CAA by agents Jeff Berry and Matt Ricatto, but he formerly was a client of Van Wagenen’s. After leaving the agency to become the Mets’ GM last offseason, Van Wagenen obtained former clients Robinson Cano in a trade with Seattle and signed Jed Lowrie as a free agent.
Acquiring the widely coveted Hader likely would come with a steep price; the names floated by The Athletic as possibilities were J.D. Davis or even first-time All-Star Jeff McNeil.
But the Mets’ bullpen – especially imported closer Edwin Diaz, who was obtained in the Cano deal — was a disaster last season, likely costing them any chance of securing a wild-card berth in the National League under since-fired manager Mickey Callaway.
Their most reliable reliever, Seth Lugo, could be moved into the starting rotation as a candidate to replace free-agent pitcher Zack Wheeler.
The Mets also are hoping for a bounce-back season from setup man Jeurys Familia, who posted a 5.70 ERA in 66 appearances after returning to the team on a three-year contract worth $30 million.
In 2018, it was revealed that Hader had made hateful and racist comments on Twitter when he was 17 years old in 2012, including referring to “white power,” the use of the n-word and saying “I hate gay people.”
“There’s no excuse for what was said,” Hader said in July 2018. “I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said, and it doesn’t reflect any of my beliefs going on now. I was young, immature and stupid, and there’s no excuses for what was said or what happened.”
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