Astros sign free agent LHP Josh Hader

January 22nd, 2024

HOUSTON, TX - The Astros have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with All-Star LHP Josh Hader, General Manager Dana Brown announced today.

In his 61 appearances in 2023 for San Diego, the 29-year-old Hader posted a 1.28 ERA while tallying 33 saves in 38 opportunities. In 56.1 innings of work, he allowed just 32 hits while tallying 85 strikeouts. For the season, he ranked third in the Majors in reliever’s ERA (1.28), fifth in opponent batting average (.163) and sixth in strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched ratio (13.58).

Since making his MLB debut in 2017, Hader has been one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. For his career, he has earned 165 saves while posting a 2.50 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP, allowing just 210 hits in 388.2 innings pitched for a .156 opponent average. Since 2017, he leads all relievers in opponent average (.156), WHIP (0.94) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched ratio (15.01), and ranks second in ERA (2.50). Additionally, left-handed hitters are just 51x349 (.146) vs. Hader in his career.

Among pitchers with at least 350.0 career innings pitched, Hader’s career strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched ratio (15.01) and career opponent batting average (.156) are each the best in MLB history while his career WHIP (0.94) ranks second. 

Hader and new bullpen mate RHP Ryan Pressly rank second and fourth in the Majors in saves since the 2020 season with 116 and 102 saves, respectively. Hader and Pressly hold the distinction of sharing the MLB record for most consecutive scoreless appearances with 40. Pressly set the record over the course of the 2018-19 seasons while Hader tied his mark over the 2021-22 seasons.

Hader has also shined in the postseason in his career, posting a 1.37 ERA (3ER/19.2IP) in 16 playoff appearances, allowing a .152 opponent average while tallying 33 strikeouts in just 19.2 innings pitched.

In his Major League career, Hader has pitched for the Brewers (2017-22) and Padres (2022-23). In that span, he has been named to five All-Star teams (2018-19, 2021-23), is a three-time winner of the Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award (2018-19, 2021) and twice has been named All-MLB First Team (2019, 2021).

Hader was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 19th round of the 2012 MLB June Draft. He was then acquired by the Astros on July 31, 2013, in a three-player, trade-deadline deal. On July 30, 2015, Hader was dealt to the Brewers as part of a six-player trade. On August 1, 2022, Hader was traded to the Padres as part of a five-player trade.


To make room on the 40-man roster for Hader, the Astros have designated LHP Matt Gage for assignment.