Report: Braves expected to decline Kirby Yates’ option

MLB: JUN 07 Mets at Braves

The deadline for clubs and players to make a decision on their options is today, and the Braves have five players to decide on for 2024.

Brad Hand’s option has already been declined, and we just learned from Jeff Passan that Charlie Morton’s $20 million option has been picked up. We still have no official word on Eddie Rosario or Collin McHugh, but it looks like the Braves will be declining the option on Kirby Yates. He’ll receive a $1.25 million buyout, and the club will save $4.5 million with this move.

I thought the odds the Braves picked up Yates’ option was about 50/50. In his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, he had some decent numbers, pitching to a 3.28 ERA with an 11.9 K/9. However, his peripherals were much less encouraging, highlighted by a 4.63 FIP. Yates also walked 5.8 batters per nine innings and struggled in high leverage situations.

I still thought there was a chance the Braves would retain him in hopes he could lower his walk rate, which has not been an issue throughout his entire career. $5.75 million also isn’t too gaudy of a number for a reliever of Yates’ caliber. However, I’m all for the Braves attempting to upgrade their bullpen through free agency, which should be a top priority this offseason.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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