Kirby Yates took over as the closer when the Padres traded Brad Hand last summer. Similar to Hand, Yates is the most recent Padres relief pitcher resurrection story. Prior to Joining the team, Yates had unproductive stops in Tampa, New York and L.A (Angels). The Padres got him to develop his splitter as an out pitch and the rest is history.
Over the last season and a half, he’s thrown 83 innings and has a 2.17 ERA. He’s also 28/29 in save opportunities. He’s also leading the league in that same category this season.
Over the next few years, the Padres have a ton of young pitching coming up through their system. Kirby Yates is 32 and theoretically going into the downside of his career.
Thus, the question is posed to you the reader: Should the Padres consider flipping the overachiever for, say, a young starting pitcher? Or maybe Yates and 1 of the many outfielders the team has for an elite Center Fielder or Corner Outfielder?
On the flip side, should the team continue getting elite level production and keep him as the closer over the next few years as the team is going to be competitive?
Let’s hear your thoughts!