Dodgers trade targets: Kirby Yates, RP
Would a division rival like the San Diego Padres be willing to help the Dodgers by trading their best relief pitcher? The economics of the game might force them to do so. If the Padres decide they are too many lengths back of the playoff race at a critical tradeoff point in the 2020 season (if there is a season), it might be time to cash in on Kirby Yates before they risk losing him for nothing as a free agent next offseason.
San Diego avoided arbitration by signing Yates to a $7.1 million salary in the winter; however, that only kicks the can down the road in deciding to sign the veteran to a long-term deal.
The 33-year-old right-hander is a late bloomer, having his best professional seasons over the past two years. He was arguably one of the best closers in baseball in 2019 for the Padres, saving 41 games with a microscopic 1.19 ERA in 60 appearances.
While the Padres are expected to be competitive this season, if they stumble, perhaps they move the 33-year-old Yates before he can leave for nothing in the offseason.