With Kirby Yates done for the season, the Padres should give Boston a call regarding reliever Brandon Workman.
On Monday, the Padres received the news they didn’t want to hear, but it likely wasn’t unexpected either. Kirby Yates is done for the year. The soon-to-be free agent reportedly had a second opinion on his elbow after experiencing discomfort over the weekend, which usually signifies that surgery is required.
Yates will hit the open market this offseason, and there is a very real scenario that he pitched his last game in a Padres uniform. He was an incredible story; claimed off waivers and turned into an All-Star reliever. If Yates is done, he had one heck of a career – although short – with the Friars, collecting a league-leading 41 saves last year.
Despite favorable preseason rankings, the Padres bullpen has been a mess this season. Emilio Pagan hasn’t looked the same, and he likely isn’t fit for the closer’s role this season. That said, with the trade deadline looming, the team could turn to several struggling ballclubs, who might be looking to part with expiring contracts.
Brandon Workman is a reliever the Padres should consider, given how bad the Red Sox have looked this season. The 32-year-old closer has rarely been used this year, collecting just three saves in 5.2 innings of work. He tallied 16 saves a year ago after taking over for former All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel while posting a 2.26 ERA and a 1.033 WHIP.
The shortened season hasn’t been kind to him, as he’s struggled with his command a bit, allowing four walks but has fanned seven in six appearances. As noted, he’ll hit the open market after the season and has an adjusted salary of just $1.3M this year. If acquired and he performs wells, a two-year deal could be in the cards to remain with the Padres, who have learned first hand that you can never have too much bullpen pitching.
Given his impending free agency, Baseball Trade Values gives him a median trade value of only 2.3. The Red Sox have a bunch of injuries in the rotation, and their farm system is top-heavy with position prospects. Workman could be packaged as part of a multiplayer deal or straight up for a lower-level prospect.
I have the Padres sending 2019 second-round pick Joshua Mears over, which is nearly an equivalent trade (2.3 to 2.4). The Friars have a surplus of outfielders, and the Red Sox are losing a couple to free agency this offseason. Mears is projected to reach the majors in 2023.