Devin Williams is the first Brewer to win “Rookie of the Year” since Ryan Braun did so in 2007.
The distinction is well-deserved. Williams used his untouchable change-up to strike out 53 batters in just 27 innings of work in 2020. Those numbers, combined with a minuscule 0.33 ERA, make him a more than worthy winner.
But could his emergence at the back end of the Brewers’ bullpen make a trade of Josh Hader more likely?
“I think they’ll entertain offers,” Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt told Wisconsin’s Morning News on WTMJ. “You’re going to have to come with A LOT to get Josh Hader because he’s got three more years of control. They would be more willing to listen when you know you have a Devin Williams that could slide into the closer’s role.”
There’s a financial benefit as well. Hader will be paid about $5.6 million in 2021. Williams is set to make $815,000 – a bargain by comparison.
“That would be way more cost effective,” Haudricourt continued.
Whether or not the Brewers decide to trade Hader, the embarrassment of riches in the bullpen is a good problem for general manager David Stearns to have.