3 Atlanta Braves players who could be on the San Diego Padres radar during free agency

With the Atlanta Braves out of the postseason, it's a good chance to see which members of the NL East champions could be a fit in San Diego

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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3) Kirby Yates

What do you know, another former Padre. Kirby Yates was arguably the best reliever in all of baseball in 2019, posting a 1.19 ERA and converting 41 saves in 44 opportunities. That splitter he threw was simply unhittable.

Injuries completely derailed him following that 2019 season as he made just 15 appearances from 2020-2022. He missed the entire 2021 campaign recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. He was finally healthy in 2023 and, while he wasn't quite 2019 good, he was still an important piece of Atlanta's bullpen.

Yates had a 3.28 ERA in 61 appearances and 60.1 innings pitched. He had 80 strikeouts on the year, and proved that his splitter was still a dominant pitch. The opposition hit just .160 against that pitch with a 34.3% whiff rate.

The Padres have a void to fill at the closer spot as it feels very likely that Josh Hader has thrown his last pitch in brown and gold. Yates might not be that same dominant closer, and he probably wouldn't be this team's closer if they did bring him in, but signing him to fill a late-inning role for his age-37 season shouldn't be out of the question.