While the Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to address their needs on the position player front, they have been active this offseason in retooling the bullpen.
Last month they completed a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers to acquire Corey Knebel, and soon after signed Tommy Kahnle to a two-year contract. Kahnle is recovering from Tommy John surgery and although it’s considered unlikely he will pitch this season, the right-hander is hopeful.
L.A. additionally re-signed Jimmy Nelson, who missed all of 2020 because of back trouble that ultimately required surgery. Blake Treinen also was retained, agreeing to terms on a multi-year deal. Plus, the likes of Brandon Morrow and Brock Stewart returned to the organization on Minor League contracts.
More recently the Dodgers have been linked to free agents Brad Hand and Kirby Yates. Hand reportedly is close to signing with the New York Mets but still has interest from the Dodgers, Houston Astros and other teams.
Meanwhile, Yates is believed to be deciding between five clubs, per Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The Padres were one of a dozen clubs interested in Kirby Yates. He is in final stages of considering offers from five teams, and source says the Padres are not one of them.
Padres would have to come up substantially in their offer, and that is not expected to happen.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) January 15, 2021
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Dodgers remain interested in Yates:
Dodgers still looking to better their pen even after adding Knebel, Treinin and Kahnle. Kirby Yates, first mentioned by @jorgecastillo is one possibility.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2021
Yates is just one year removed from being arguably the best relief pitcher in all of baseball. He appeared 60 games for the San Diego Padres in 2019, led the league with 41 saves to go along with a 1.19 ERA, 1.30 FIP, 0.89 WHIP, 101 strikeouts and 13 walks in 60.2 innings.
Yates was limited to just six games last year due to undergoing season-ending surgery in August to remove bone chips from his right elbow. He is believed to be looking for a one-year contract with incentives or potentially a deal that includes an option for a second season.
Dodgers lose Baez, Wood
While a rash of free agents remain unsigned, the Dodgers have lost Pedro Baez and Alex Wood thus far. Baez joined the Astros on a two-year contract, while Wood signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants.
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