The N.L. West is our last stop.
Kirby Yates – SDP
Kirby Yates inherited the closer role from Brad Hand when he departed for Cleveland in one of the earlier trade deadline deals. Yates was an okay reliever in 2017 with a 3.97 ERA, but has been utterly dominant this season. A 1.40 ERA with a 2.00 FIP and a 2.72 xFIP suggest that what we are seeing is genuine success and is not driven by unsustainable good luck or defense. An 11.64 K/9 is supported by a 2.56 BB/9 and a 50.6 GB%. The one area of concern is a 4% HR/FB which is almost assuredly due for some regression given his career 15.5% rate. That said, he appears to have figured something out this year, which is a good thing for the Padres who traded for him last season. The 31-year-old Yates is a free agent at the end of this year and should fetch a decent prospect for the Friars.
Craig Stammen – SDP
Craig Stammen has spent the last two seasons in San Diego and has been excellent for both of them. A 3.14 ERA last year has been followed up with a 2.70 this season, to go along with a 1.92 FIP and a 2.94 xFIP. His 10.26 K/9 looks quite nice next to a 1.80 BB/9. That’s a 5.70 K/BB ratio, which is good for 13th best in the majors among relievers. On top of all that, he induces ground balls 51.9% of the time and has had single digit HR/FB rates in 3 of his last 4 healthy seasons. Even still, that 2.6% from this year is bound to regress a little.
That’s a lot of names, and some of them may even be a bit of a stretch. But if Dave Dombrowski has shown us anything, it’s that he can be unpredictable. The Red Sox will almost assuredly improve their bullpen before the seasons ends. It may be before the July 31st deadline. It may be before the August 31st waiver wire deadline. But it is incredibly unlikely that the team will stand pat. With less than three days to go before the deadline the rumors should be flying the rest of the way.
Who do you want to see the Red Sox add to the pen? What are you willing to part with to get it done? Let us know in the comments!