It's pretty clear that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the team to beat in Major League Baseball right now. They're coming off a dominant shortened season and were the deserving champions of the 2020 World Series.
However, even great things can be better and the Dodgers aren't the exception to that rule. That's why they've spent most of the offseason quietly improving their once-struggling bullpen, adding Blake Treinen,Scott Alexander, Corey Knebel, Garrett Cleavinger, and Tommy Kahnle.
Then again, there are still some concerns about the closer position, as Kenley Jansen vastly struggled over the year and Dave Roberts knows that he's not the reliable pitcher he used to be.
Dodgers Could Pursue Kirby Yates To Keep Him Away From The Padres
Los Angeles were tied with top-tier names like Brad Hand and Liam Hendriks earlier in the offseason but it seems like they're not willing to sign any reliever to a long-term, big-money kind of deal.
That's why, according to a report by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, they've recently turned their attention to Kirby Yates, who's coming off three solid years with the San Diego Padres:
"Kirby Yates, another former All-Star closer, would cost even less and the Dodgers have significant interest in him, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Yates, 33, emerged as a premier reliever when he joined the San Diego Padres as a waiver claim during the 2017 season. He compiled a 1.67 ERA and 53 saves over 2018 and 2019 but logged just 4 1/3 innings in 2020 before undergoing season-ending elbow surgery in August. He would represent another low-cost, high-ceiling bullpen investment for Los Angeles," the report read.
Yates couldn't throw much during the shortened 2020 season due to an injury but the Padres are still expected to try and keep him around for a while longer. Notably, signing him would not only boost the Dodgers bullpen but also hurt their biggest threat in the National League, so they should definitely consider it.