Milwaukee's reasoning behind listening to offers on the two-time NL Reliever of the Year stems from the possibility of him receiving a sharp rise in salary, according to Rosenthal. Hader, entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $4.6 million in 2020, although that could end up being the floor for his earnings in the coming year.
As a Super Two player, Hader and his agents are permitted to argue his case in arbitration under the banner of a "player of special accomplishment," Rosenthal reports. Using this label, Hader could compare himself to every reliever in baseball during his arbitration hearing, instead of just putting his statistics alongside other first-year arb-eligible relievers.
The Brewers may be interested in trading Hader while his value is high to secure a large return and to potentially avoid paying his high salary if his elite production tails off over the next few years.
It's unclear what teams, if any, might have spoken to the Brewers about a potential Hader trade.
"We listen on a wide variety of players throughout the offseason. A lot of players get discussed," general manager David Stearns told Rosenthal when asked about Hader's availability.
Since arriving in Milwaukee, Hader has emerged as one of the best relievers in the sport. The 25-year-old owns a career 2.42 ERA with a 2.73 FIP, and 0.85 WHIP. He has racked up 349 strikeouts while allowing just 72 walks and 28 homers over 204 2/3 innings. Hader's 5.9 WAR and 15.35 strikeouts per nine innings both rank second among all relievers over the last three seasons.
Although he's coming off another stellar season with the Brewers, Hader's workload appeared to catch up with him late in 2019. He posted a 3.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in the second half, compared to a 2.09 ERA and 0.65 WHIP before the All-Star break; in the NL wild-card game against the Nationals, he took the loss after blowing a lead in the eighth inning.
Hader qualifies as a Super Two player based on the amount of service time he's accrued through his first two-plus major-league seasons. The designation means he'll go through four years of arbitration instead of three, delaying his eventual free agency by one season.