Angels Rumors: Top 5 free agent relievers who should be signed
By Alfonso Cerna
The Angels can redeem themselves and bring back Kirby Yates.
Ah yes, Kirby Yates, the one who got away. Some Angels fans might recall the one appearance Yates made for the Halos in 2017. After being designated for assignment, by former GM Billy Eppler, Yates was claimed by San Diego where he thrived.
Yates is coming off season-ending elbow surgery after appearing in just six games last summer. Before his injury, the right-hander proved to be one of the most effective relievers in baseball.
Kirby Yates Last Three Seasons (4.7 WAR):
- 2018: (65 games) 2.14 ERA 5.29 K/BB 0.921 WHIP
- 2019: (60 games) 1.19 ERA 7.77 K/BB 0.890 WHIP (All-Star)
- 2020: (6 games) 12.46 ERA 2.00 K/BB 2.538 WHIP
Yates has reportedly narrowed his list of teams to five, with the Padres not amongst them. It’s unknown whether the Angels are in the mix but regardless, it will be a bit of a gamble for whichever team signs him.
The right-hander will turn 34 in March, and will likely ask for a contract in the $3-$5 million range. It might not seem like a lot, but considering Yates is coming off a major injury in an offseason market like no other, every dollar is being accounted for right now.
A team like the Angels might not be willing to bet that much money on a bounce-back season from Yates. I think it all depends on how much money Minasian is willing to spend elsewhere. If the Angels are serious about going after Trevor Bauer, I think it is unlikely they bring in Yates for that much.
If the Halos decide they are better off hanging onto the Bauer-money, then taking a gamble on Yates for his asking price shouldn’t be a problem.