Josh Hader contract details: Astros bolster bullpen with five-year, $95 million deal for All-Star closer

The Astros came within a win of a return to the World Series last season, but it had been a quiet offseason for Houston to this point. That changed Friday when the Astros agreed to a five-year, $95 million deal with five-time All-Star closer Josh Hader.

Hader has been among the best relievers in baseball — if not the best — since he debuted with the Brewers in 2017. The left-hander has a career 2.50 ERA and 165 saves, averaging a pristine 15 strikeouts per nine innings.

While he hit a rough patch around the time he was traded from Milwaukee to San Diego in 2022, Hader regained his form in 2023. He posted a dominant 1.28 ERA and 33 saves across 61 appearances for the Padres, setting himself up for a major payday in free agency.

The Astros learned earlier in the week that reliever Kendall Graveman is set to miss the 2024 season, which might have made Hader even more of a priority with spring training looming in February.

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Here are the details on Hader’s deal with the Astros.

Josh Hader contract details

The Astros have agreed to a five-year, $95 million contract with Hader, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Hader’s deal sets a record for the highest present-day value of any contract signed by a reliever. While Mets closer Edwin Diaz inked a five-year, $102 million contract with the Mets last offseason, the deal included significant deferrals that bring down the present-day value of the deal just below Hader’s $95 million.

The contract includes a no-trade clause and no deferrals, opt-outs or club options, according to The Athletic’s Chandler Rome.

The Astros have operated with Ryan Pressly as their closer in recent years, but the size of this contract leaves little doubt Hader will assume that role for Houston. With Graveman out for the season and Hector Neris on the open market after a stellar 2023, Pressly and Bryan Abreu figure to be the top set-up arms for Hader in 2024.

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Highest-paid MLB relievers

Player Average annual salary Team
Edwin Diaz $20.4 million Mets
Josh Hader $19 million Astros
Kenley Jansen $16 million Red Sox
Ryan Pressly $15 million Astros
Raisel Iglesias $14.5 million Braves
Craig Kimbrel $13 million Orioles
Rafael Montero $11.5 million Astros
Taylor Rogers $11 million Giants

Hader’s deal makes him the second-highest paid reliever in baseball in terms of average annual salary, behind Diaz’s $20.4 million. Hader’s contract is also second among all relievers in total value, though its present-day value is higher than Diaz’s deal, which includes significant deferrals. 

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