Blue Jays Sign Closer Kirby Yates
The Blue Jays have signed free-agent reliever Kirby Yates. Yates, formerly of the San Diego Padres, had his 2020 season cut short due to bone chips in his elbow. However, in 2019, Yates was arguably was one of the best closers in all of baseball. Yates was 41-44 in save opportunities with a 1.19 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP, and 101 strikeouts over 60 and 2/3 innings. In 2019, Yates also earned his first career All-Star nod and finished ninth in the Cy Young voting. He is very much a late-bloomer as he has put together back-to-back great seasons in San Diego prior to 2020.
Yates will be the predominant closer for the Blue Jays. With Ken Giles likely out until 2022 with Tommy John, the Jays did not have a set closer last season that saw their first playoff birth since 2016. Yates will be a great asset at the back-end of that Toronto bullpen as they look to continue their progress to be a threat in the AL East.
The Blue Jays may also not be done yet. With relievers Trevor Rosenthal, Brad Hand, Alex Colome, Shane Greene, and Mark Melancon still available, the Blue Jays could very well bolster the rest of their bullpen. They are also in on reigning Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer and outfielder George Springer. Don’t be surprised if Toronto continues to add to a very young and exciting team.
Written By Zach Nau
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