If the market proves to be too steep for Hand, Boston could look at one of their other top relievers.
More from Red Sox Rumors
- Is Jean Segura the solution to Red Sox’ Trevor Story concerns?
- Red Sox news: Orioles eyeing former Boston arms, Dansby Swanson to Cubs, JD Martinez to Dodgers
- Did Alex Cora just drop a huge hint about Red Sox free-agent target?
- MLB insider hints Red Sox teardown may continue with two trades
- Division rival targeting Red Sox 2022 standout Michael Wacha
Yates is having a career year, posting a 1.00 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 10.67 K/9. He struggled through stints with the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees before reinventing himself as a Padre. Yates has ditched his slider for a splitter to become more of a groundball pitcher. His 52.3 GB% is easily a career-high and nearly double last year’s rate. Yates was once homer-prone but with this new approach he’s only given up one long ball this season.
He doesn’t come with the “proven closer” tag but Yates has picked up a couple of rogue saves when the Padres send Hand in early. He’s next in line for the closer job if Hand gets dealt, unless Yates follows him out the door.
The 31-year old is making just north of $1 million this season and won’t hit free agency until 2021. Adding him now would fortify the bullpen this season while providing insurance for the next few years in case Kelly leaves as a free agent this winter.