Josh Hader contract details: Astros splash cash for star closer

The Astros fortify an already loaded roster by signing Josh Hader to a massive deal

Aug 23, 2023; San Diego, California, USA;  San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) reacts
Aug 23, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) reacts / Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Hader's market was relatively quiet for much of the offseason. Obvious fits out there like the Rangers and Phillies never gained steam. Other teams like the Yankees and Dodgers had some rumored interest, but they didn't seem to eager to sign arguably the best closer in the game.

Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic dropped a bombshell that the Houston Astros were intensifying their pursuit of Hader. Today, ESPN's Jeff Passan broke the news that no non-Astros fan wanted to hear. Josh Hader is officially a Houston Astro.

Hader does not come cheap, as he signed a five-year deal worth $95 million according to Passan. The deal, while not exceeding the five-year $102 million deal Edwin Diaz inked with the Mets last offseason, exceeds it in present-day value as it has no deferrals.

Astros assemble best bullpen in MLB after Josh Hader signing

Hader joins Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu in what will easily be the scariest late-game trio in the game. Those two relievers were terrific last season, and Hader was the NL Reliever of the Year winner. Now, Houston becomes just that much scarier after their heartbreaking defeat in the ALCS last season.

The Astros had been relatively quiet this offseason, signing Victor Caratini to be Yainer Diaz's backup catcher, but doing little else. Now, they've finally made their big splash by signing Hader.

The contract is a hefty one, and certainly raises some questions revolving around players like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Framber Valdez, and Kyle Tucker, all of whom are free agents either next offseason or the one after that. With Hader making $19 million annually, that's a lot of money that could've been given to those core players. Is there still enough out there?

The deal also reportedly includes a full no-trade clause, meaning Hader is in complete control of whether he stays in Houston throughout his entire tenure.

Hader's deal involving no deferrals means he's going to be getting a whole lot of money in the next five years. Whether owner Jim Crane will be willing to keep the entire core together along with Hader for the long term is a storyline to watch.

For 2024, the Astros were already scary without Hader. Now with him, they have an argument for the best team not only in the American League West, but in the entire American League. The contract raises questions about the future, but that's not for anyone to worry about right now. The Astros got their guy, and that's frightening.