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Astros brass discusses addition of Josh Hader

January 21st, 2024 HOUSTON — Once the Astros zeroed in on signing free-agent closer Josh Hader, general manager Dana Brown and manager Joe Espada made sure to call Ryan Pressly. That came out of respect to Houston’s incumbent closer, who may be forced into a new role with the addition of a five-time All-Star in

Astros brass discusses addition of Josh Hader

January twenty first, 2024

HOUSTON — As soon as the Astros zeroed in on signing free-agent nearer Josh Hader, basic supervisor Dana Brown and supervisor Joe Espada made positive to name Ryan Pressly. That got here out of respect to Houston’s incumbent nearer, who could also be compelled into a brand new position with the addition of a five-time All-Star in Hader.

Each Brown and Espada stated Pressly was fully on board with the addition of Hader, whose 153 saves since 2019 are essentially the most within the Main Leagues in that span. The signing of Hader is awaiting the left-hander passing a bodily, however Brown and Espada addressed his acquisition on the crew’s annual FanFest on Saturday at Minute Maid Park and the way it impacts Pressly.

“I feel Pressly’s been excellent for this group because the nearer,” Brown stated. “He’s been excellent within the postseason. I feel it’s crucial that you just be knowledgeable and that you just loop gamers in once you’re making strikes.”

Brown stated the deal to signal Hader a five-year, $95-million contract got here collectively in about “72 hours.” The Astros have been trying to improve their bullpen the complete offseason with Hector Neris, Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek hitting free company and Kendall Graveman having season-ending shoulder surgery last week.

“We’re nonetheless available in the market to get higher,” Brown stated.

Pressly, 35, has been the Astros nearer because the 2020 season and is considered one of solely 4 relievers to compile no less than 100 saves in that stretch. An All-Star with Houston in 2019 and 2021, Pressly has saved 90 video games over the past three seasons and is an ideal 14-for-14 in save possibilities within the postseason.

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“Pressly is a professional,” Espada stated. “He actually needs to win. He’s a crew man. He’s all in. We had a chance to enhance the crew and he stated, ‘Why not, if this man could make us higher?’ We made him conscious and he’s excited in regards to the reality we added Hader to the crew.”

Pressly, who’s within the final yr of a two-year, $30 million contract (with an possibility for 2025), is likely one of the hottest figures within the Astros clubhouse. He was on the mound when the Astros clinched the World Sequence title in ’22 and had 31 saves in ’23. His 107 saves are fourth-most in membership historical past.

“I feel that Pressly means a lot this group,” Brown stated. “His management within the clubhouse, his management within the bullpen, the issues that’s he’s accomplished for this group — all the postseason saves and all the in-season saves. He’s simply been a pillar, however I needed to speak to him as a result of that’s the suitable factor to do. He was a real skilled. I hung up the telephone and I used to be excited. This man will do no matter it takes to win.”

Pressly attended FanFest, however a crew spokesman stated he didn’t wish to be interviewed. Pressly’s teammates, although, have been thrilled on the addition of Hader, who will mix with Pressly and Bryan Abreu to kind considered one of baseball’s finest bullpen back-end combos.

“We’re tremendous excited to be on his crew and be his teammate and welcome him right here,” third baseman Alex Bregman stated. “Wanting ahead to an awesome yr.”

Espada stated he’d favor for his relievers to have set roles, which suggests figuring out a more in-depth. He wasn’t prepared to try this on Saturday.

“That’s going to play out itself,” he stated. “We’re simply excited to have Hader on the crew. Our again finish simply bought that a lot stronger. The ninth inning will play out.”

Hader turned in a stellar 2023 for the Padres, pitching to a 1.28 ERA in 56 1/3 innings. He held opposing hitters to a .163 common and only a .224 slugging share. Hader’s 36.8 p.c strikeout fee was his lowest since his rookie yr in 2017, however that also ranked in the 99th percentile of baseball.

“I feel plenty of instances groups will simply signal guys and assume it’s a enterprise, however there’s an enormous human side now we have right here and I feel the entrance workplace understands and Dana, being a baseball man and being across the recreation so lengthy, understands that,” pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. stated. “I feel Ryan in all probability appreciated it and I feel there’s going to be nice alternatives for all the blokes to step up and fill into their roles. If I do know Pressly, he stated he needs to win a World Sequence and do his half. He is nice teammate.”

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