Yankees: Trade Deadline Targets for NYY During Shortened 2020 Season

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2. Kirby Yates

Yankees target
San Diego Padres closer Kirby Yates (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Former Yankee Kirby Yates would be a perfect fit for the bullpen.

Another NL West team who will almost certainly not be in contention is the San Diego Padres. They’ve been a mess for years, and while a 60-game season sure tips the scales in their favor, MLB fans certainly wouldn’t bet on seeing them in the playoffs, especially with how loaded the National League is. Padres general manager AJ Preller loves to make trades and is far from conservative on the transaction front, so we can expect San Diego to offload some promising talent hitting free agency after this season. Kirby Yates (a former Yankee!) has been one of the best relievers in the game the past two years and earned his first All-Star nod in 2019. He pitched to a 1.19 ERA, led the NL in saves with 41, and struck out 101 batters in just 60.2 innings. Imagine adding that production to the Yankees bullpen? Forget worrying about a lackluster performance from a starter in the playoffs! Aaron Boone will be able to deploy reliever after reliever while the offense relentlessly fights to get back in the game. This Padres team is young and should be good in a few years, so there’s no reason why Preller wouldn’t look to offload Yates, an impending free agent, for a top prospect to continue moving along that trajectory. The Yankees have plenty of talent that would intrigue the Pads.