Kirby came to the Nintendo Switch in March of 2018. Perhaps Kirby won’t be coming to the Philadelphia Phillies in July of 2018.
31-year-old Kirby Yates entered Thursday evening with a 1.51 ERA and 2.15 FIP. The San Diego Padres righty didn’t get selected to the National League All-Star team, though you could make a very strong case that he deserved a more serious look.
In any event, Yates’ strong season has caused speculation that he could be a trade candidate this month. However, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick spoke to a scout that thinks the Padres are unlikely to get a return that they deem to be acceptable:
An #MLB scout on #Padres reliever Kirby Yates (0.93 WHIP, 1.51 ERA): “He’s been really good. But he’s not going to get the return they’re asking for, because he kind of came out of nowhere. It’s hard to give up a pretty good prospect for a guy who’s had three good months.’’
For as good of a season as Yates has had in 2018, he had a 3.97 ERA and 3.92 FIP in 62 games between the Los Angeles Angels and Padres. He had a 5.23 ERA and 3.97 FIP in 2016 for the New York Yankees. He’s having an excellent season, but his track record doesn’t suggest that he’s going to continue pitching this well (the rest of the year or into next year). So while there will be interest in trading for him, teams probably will be hesitant to give up substantive prospects for Yates.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported in late June that the Phillies had talked to the Padres regarding their various talented relievers. Yates and Craig Stammen, both in the midst of career years, were likely part of those discussions. Brad Hand, who was named an All-Star for the third time in his career on Sunday, likely was inquired upon, though if the expectation is that the asking-price for Yates will be too high for a trade to be completed, it’s hard to imagine a deal being completed for Hand.
While the asking-price is likely to be high on Yates, he is an attractive trade piece in theory. Besides the fact that he’s in the midst of one of a career-year, Yates also has two remaining years of arbitration, meaning he won’t be eligible for free-agency until 2020. However, him being under team control for a couple more years might cause the Padres to hold onto him unless they are blown away, especially if they believe there’s a chance they could move Hand and Stammen.