When it comes to one of the best relievers in the business, no one comes close to what Josh Hader can bring to a team. He has been one of, if not the best, closers in the game since 2018. With a career total of 165 saves and an 87% save conversion rate, he is as tough as it gets. It has probably even gotten to a point where the moment opposing teams see him enter a game, they know the game's over.
For his career, Hader sports a stellar 2.50 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP, with a whopping 648 strikeouts in 388.2 innings pitched. With the Jays losing Jordan Hicks to free agency and Jordan Romano having some shaky appearances in 2023, Hader could provide the much-needed shutdown relief at the back end of the bullpen to help close out ballgames. Together with Romano, they could form a two-headed monster similar to what Duane Ward and Tom Henke did back in the early 1990s in the Jays’ early contending years.
But once again, the Jays shouldn’t get involved in a bidding war with other teams if Hader’s value ends up skyrocketing. After all, there are some other solid, dependable relievers available in free agency that could provide much more bang for the buck if so. One obvious backup candidate is none other than Hicks himself. Just at the prime age of 27 heading into the 2024 season, Hicks possesses a top-notch blazing fastball that constantly hits triple digits, as witnessed by many of the Jays’ faithful this season. If he can harness his command just a bit better, folks, we could be looking at Hader-lite at potentially a much better value and price in the long run.