Are the San Diego Padres setting up to trade Kirby Yates?

After making multiple bullpen additions this offseason, could the San Diego Padres be setting up to trade their star closer?

We’ve heard very little talk about the possibility of the San Diego Padres extending Kirby Yates this offseason. And with a lot of moves in the bullpen, it makes you wonder if they’re preparing themselves to trade him.

Of course, there is obviously the very real possibility that they are just trying to put together a shutdown bullpen to help protect the young pitching staff. And they’ve done that by putting together a top 5 bullpen in all of baseball — on paper.

So far this offseason they’ve signed Drew Pomeranz, Pierce Johnson, and now they’ve re-signed Craig Stammen.

That adds to what was already a very good bullpen with Yates, Andres Munoz, Matt Strahm, Luis Perdomo, and a number of other talented arms.

They’ve also taken a chance on some bounce-back guys with some upside like Kyle Barraclough, Chih-Wei Hu, and Jimmy Yacabonis.

San Diego has put together a very good and deep bullpen for 2020. And I just have to wonder if they’re setting up to move Yates.

Maybe they feel like an extension isn’t possible with him, or maybe they’re worried about giving the 32-year-old (will be 33 in March) that much money and years.

Related Story: What a Yates extension could look like

With the Stammen signing, San Diego is a little over $140 million for the upcoming season.

They were already strapped for cash, or at least we believe that to be the case, so if they still have plans of improving this team they’ll have to find ways to shed some money.

Obviously we know A.J. Preller is trying hard to move as much of Wil Myers‘ and his contract as he can.

But Yates, who is expected to make close to $7 million in his final season of arbitration in 2020, should be pretty easy to move.

And as I’ve seen some suggest on Twitter, perhaps now you can attach Yates and a prospect or two in a deal with Myers to move him.

I still think that would be a long shot, but it’s at least a possibility.

As I said at the beginning of the offseason, if San Diego can’t work out an extension with Yates, then they need to take advantage of his value and get something for him.

Next: 2 more moves to make

Certainly the Padres aren’t just going to give Yates away and don’t have to move him, but with the bullpen they’ve built he has now become expendable and it opens up the possibilities for Preller on the trade market.

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