Braves sign Yates to 2-year, $8.25M deal

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The Atlanta Braves signed former All-Star reliever Kirby Yates to a two-year, $8.25-million contract, the team announced Monday.

Yates missed the entire 2021 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, the second time in his career that he's undergone the procedure. The surgery was performed this past March, meaning he won't be ready for spring training, according to David O'Brien of The Athletic.

With his return date unclear at this point, Yates will be paid $1 million in 2022 and $6 million in 2023. The contract also includes a $5.75-million club option for a third year with a $1.25-million buyout.

When last healthy in 2019, the 34-year-old authored a dominant season for the San Diego Padres. Yates earned an All-Star berth and first-team All-MLB honors that year by leading the majors with 41 saves and posting a 1.19 ERA along with 101 strikeouts.

Elbow issues limited Yates to just six appearances in the shortened 2020 season. Last winter, he signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays but only appeared for them in spring training before undergoing the surgery.

Once he's back at full strength, Yates will add another powerful arm to the world champion Braves' bullpen alongside closer Will Smith and breakout star Tyler Matzek.

For his career, Yates owns a 3.54 ERA, 3.39 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP with 57 saves across parts of seven seasons with four teams.

Braves sign Yates to 2-year, $8.25M deal
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