This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason.
The hot stove has hit a stalemate recently, but that’s not stopping rumors from swirling.
The latest buzz pertains to Josh Hader, the top relief pitcher on the free agent market this MLB offseason. The Houston Astros are making a push to sign the left-handed relief ace, according to Ken Rosenthal and Chandler Rome of The Athletic.
Hader is coming off of another excellent season with the San Diego Padres. The 29-year-old was named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career and finished the year with an ultra-impressive 1.28 ERA to go along with 33 saves.
It was more of the same from Hader, who has been one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the league since he made his debut in 2017. In seven seasons, Hader owns a career 2.50 ERA with 164 saves and 648 strikeouts in 388.2 innings pitched.
If a deal is completed, Hader would give the back of the Astros’ bullpen a formidable duo alongside Ryan Pressly. Houston could certainly use a left-handed option out of their pen, and Hader is as good as it gets. Coincidently enough, Hader was at one time an Astros’ prospect.
The Toronto Blue Jays recently made a splash by agreeing to a four-year contract with right-hander Yariel Rodríguez, and they may soon make another.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Toronto is the front-runner for slugger Jorge Soler. Heyman notes the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox are also in play.
The Blue Jays have been on the hunt for an impact bat to their lineup this MLB offseason. They had interest in Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto, but were not able to land either. So far, their position player deals have been defensive-focused in outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Soler would certainly provide some punch to their lineup. This past season with the Miami Marlins, slugged 36 home runs in 137 games en route to his first All-Star selection.
AROUND THE NETWORK
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Here’s Why Penguins Should — & Shouldn’t — Trade Jake Guentzel (+)
Pittsburgh Sports Now: Pitt Extends Offer to Big 2025 4-Star Offensive Tackle from Georgia
SUBSCRIBE TO PBN+
For full-access to Pittsburgh Baseball Now, CLICK HERE. *** You also get full Penguins and Steelers coverage with your subscription!