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.
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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