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Dodgers in on Former Padres Closer Kirby Yates

Los Angeles is looking at another high profile arm.



The Dodgers just got done adding Blake Treinen back into their bullpen mix. They inked the former All-Star closer to a 2-year deal that, in experts’ opinions, included far less money than he probably should have got. Despite adding that impact arm, Los Angeles might not be done with their pen. 

The Dodgers have already been linked to Brad Hand, another huge arm that could make their bullpen outrageously good. And with Treinen on board, LA probably will not add free-agent Liam Hendriks. But according to Jorge Castillo of The LA Times, there is significant interest in another arm. 

Castillo linked the Dodgers to former Padres closer Kirby Yates. He pitched just 4 innings for the Padres in 2020 before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery. But between 2018 and 2019, Yates was one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. 

Kirby Yates, another former All-Star closer, would cost even less and the Dodgers have significant interest in him, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. -Jorge Castillo

Yates fits everything that Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman looks for in relievers. He’s coming off of an injury that is pretty significant for a pitcher, which often translates to lower pay than they might normally get. That’s Friedman’s bread and butter. 

Related: Former GM Wants the Dodgers to Go After Carlos Correa?

Yates compiled a 1.67 ERA and 1.93 FIP in his first two seasons with the Padres. He also locked down 53 saves and struck out almost 14 batters per 9 innings in that time frame, while also keeping the ball in the park. That sort of arm could easily make the Dodgers the best relief team in all of baseball. 

The Dodgers mixing in Yates would add to a few other reclamation projects out of the bullpen in 2021. Corey Knebel, Brandon Morrow, and Jimmy Nelson all fit that profile heading into the new season. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Before handing him a contract, I would want him to be examined and undergo a tryout. Need to know how he has responded to surgery.

  2. Hard to understand the Treinen deal, in experts’ opinions, included far less money than he probably should have got. Baseball reference projects him with a 4.00 ERA and 1.32 WHIP for 2021. Brad Hand, a dominant reliever, was rejected by 30 teams for 10M for 1 year. How much more do the experts believe Treinen is worth than the 2 year 17M contract he got, and add in a buy out for the third year option?

    • Also, Treinen will be paid by dodgers if there is a delay because of covid, Treinen will be paid if players strike during 2022 because of lack of MLB union agreement.

  3. You need a good bullpen so those runs the good RHB produce hold up in the late innings.
    Kirby Yates could be put on a incentive heavy contract, which is what most of the players should be on, paid for current results, not past good seasons.
    Kirby’s past is as good as Brad Hand or Liam Hendricks and the cost should be a lot less..,plus his success would be a good poke at the Padres.

  4. Could Friedman be going into the 2021 season with a different pitching strategy that would require more relievers? Like starters only going 4-5 innings and thd bullpen finishing the game by committee? Either that or expecting that many of these pitchers won’t pan out?
    Just looking at what’s going on and speculating.

    • They won’t be able to get away with that in a 162 game season. The bullpen will be done by October. Starters need to go 6 on average

  5. This year the Dodgers should go to 6 man rotation. Add in another reliever which means 1 less bench player. 6 starters, 6 relievers. This year will be the year of pitching and defense.

  6. This year the Dodgers should go to 6 man rotation. Add in another reliever which means 1 less bench player. 6 starters, 6 relievers. This year will be the year of pitching and defense. If you don’t have enough pitching offenses will be taking off.

  7. I am hoping the Dodgers obtain Kirby Yates and trade for Suarez and either Castillo or Sonny Gray.
    Send the reds Ruiz, Gonselin , Rios and Peters!

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