Yankees See All-Star Pitcher as 'Fallback Plan' in Free Agency

Sep 20, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws a
Sep 20, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws a / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are still looking to bolster their pitching staff as the 2024 season approaches. The Bronx Bombers failed to reach the playoffs in 2023 and look to add a surplus of talent to make sure it doesn't happen again this year.

That means targeting some of the top free agents on the market. But if plan A doesn't work out, there are backups.

Both the Yankees and the Texas Rangers reportedly view pitcher Josh Hader as a "fall back option".

New York currently has their eyes set on trying to lock down starting pitchers Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery before pivoting to Hader.

Hader is the best relief pitcher on the market and could provide the Yankees with a boost in the bullpen. The 29-year-old is a five-time All-Star selection and three-time Tommy Hoffman winner, which is awarded to the National League's best reliever.

After a disappointing 2022 season, Hader bounced back tremendously in 2023. He posted an ERA of 1.28 with 85 strikeouts and 33 saves in his first full season with the San Diego Padres.

The addition of Hader could go a long way in an already talented bullpen. Last season, New York's bullpen led the American League in ERA (3.34). The Maryland native could take pressure off starting pitchers due to his commanding stuff on the mound.

Hader's potential addition would mitigate the loss of relief pitcher Michael King, who was traded to the San Diego Padres in the offseason. In 2021, Hader became the fastest player in MLB history to record 400 strikeouts. He accomplished that feat in just 234 2/3 innings, breaking the previous mark of 236 innings held by Craig Kimbrel.

Yankees fans should expect the club to tap into the services of Hader.

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