Brewers pitcher calls out front office for Josh Hader trade during August skate: ‘I didn’t send the right message’

The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t been playing well lately. Although they won on Sunday, avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, they have gone 7-11 so far in August. Additionally, the Brewers have lost four of their six August series, including sets against the aforementioned Cubs, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, or National League Central foes they’re supposed to beat. Add it all up and the Brewers have seen their two-game division lead turn into a five-game deficit over the course of three weeks.

There are several plausible explanations for the Brewers’ slide — for example, they’re 3-5 in one-run games in August — but one offered over the weekend by lefty Eric Lauer concerns the backlash of the club against Josh Hader. trade

“It didn’t send us the right message from the people up there trying to say, ‘We’re doing this and we’re trying to put you in the best position and we’re trying to win right now with you. guys,” Lauer told MLB.com. “It felt more like a ‘We’re trying to develop for the future.’

At the trade deadline, the Brewers sent Hader to the San Diego Padres in exchange for four players: reliever Taylor Rogers, outfielder Esteury Ruiz and pitching prospect Robert Gasser. Righty Dinelson Lamet was also part of the trade, but the Brewers designated him for assignment and lost him to waivers before he ever suited up for the organization.

Regardless of the merit of the trade, and it should be noted that Hader has struggled with the Padres, leading to his removal from the closer position, it’s easy to understand why Lauer and others in the clubhouse would find the disconcerting agreement. First-place teams rarely trade their shutdown players, and it’s even rarer that they deal him within their league and with a potential playoff opponent.

It doesn’t help that Lauer noted the lack of communication from the front office, which was dismissed by others in the organization, as well as the perception that the Brewers never keep their players long, reducing the ability for the current group to accept the long-term vision of the front office. Lauer was referring directly to president of baseball operations David Stearns’ explanation of how the Brewers’ best chance to win the World Series is to make the playoffs as often as possible or get as many bites of the apple as they can .

“I personally wasn’t a big fan of the way they portrayed it to the public,” Lauer also told MLB.com. “I’m not trying to get a bunch of apple bites. Especially if things are going the way they are, the way the Brewers have traded historically. [before] guys paying I don’t know how many bites of the apple we will be able to take in the next few years. We can’t afford a bunch of guys in this room.”

It’s fair to wonder if Lauer and his teammates would feel better about their current situation if they had the same record, but Hader was still on the list. At the very least, his frustration speaks to the difficulties of trying to thread the needle for the present and the future: A trade may make sense on paper, and may end up benefiting the organization in the long run, but there’s an element human that has to be taken into account when it comes to how any particular deal will be received within the club.

Lauer and the Brewers will try to get back on track starting Monday night as part of a three-game set in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

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