The Padres acquire a relief pitcher who undoubtedly will immediately assume the closer role. The Padres saw a weakness in their bullpen that needed to be fixed – on the backend – after several rough outings from then-closer Taylor Rogers. The former closer, Rogers was “lights out” in the first half of the season, pitching 12 straight scoreless outings before giving up an earned run. That came on May 10.
Shut-Down No Longer
Rogers has struggled greatly in his more recent appearances. He gave up four runs in May, followed by six earned runs in June. When news broke of the trade, Rodgers had given up 10 runs in 10 appearances in July. He now gets a fresh start with another team chasing the postseason. The Brewers are in first place in the National League Central division. They currently hold a 3-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Hader joins a Padres team that trails its geographical rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, by 12 games in the National League West. It is, however, very much in the discussion for Wild Card contention. Acquiring Hader fills a need, but the best news for San Diego is in who else is joining Rodgers on his way to Milwaukee.
No Real Devil in the Details
Right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet is joining Rogers on his way to Milwaukee. Also joining them are a pair of top prospects–left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser (No. 7) and outfielder Esteury Ruiz (No. 28). Aside from acquiring an All-Star closer, general manager A.J. Preller retains his top six prospects. Any deal to acquire Soto would likely involve most, if not all, of their top prospects. Also mentioned in recent trade rumors were left-handed starting pitcher Mackenzie Gore and outfielder Joshua Mears (No.8).
Expect More to Come
Preller sent a signal to the rest of the baseball world by swapping closers with the Brewers. Parting ways with a struggling Rodgers and a Lamet who can’t stay off the IL looks to be a statement that he isn’t taking any chances. Preller has been linked to discussions concerning catcher Willson Contreras and many other names.
If Preller doesn’t land Soto before 6 p.m. EDT tomorrow, expect a significantly different look after the deadline.