Yates agreed to a one-year, $3.0625 million deal with the Padres, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. He earned every penny of this raise, logging a 2.14 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 63 innings last year. While Yates is entering his age-32 season, he will still have another year of arbitration in 2020 before he can hit the open market for a proper payday.
Yates fired a perfect inning with two strikeouts and a save in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Giants. Yates' career year continued with his sixth consecutive save and 12th since taking over as closer after the All-Star break. The 31-year-old has been one of the bigger reliever surprises this season, posting a 2.07 ERA and 12.7 K/9 in addition to his second-half save contributions.
Yates struck out the only batter he faced in Monday's 5-0 win over the Giants en route to his 11th save of the season. Starter Bryan Mitchell appeared ready to record his first complete-game shutout, but he loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth inning before giving way to Yates. The unique scenario met the minimum requirements for the closer to earn a save despite entering the game with a five-run lead. Yates has converted 11 of 12 save chances since taking over as closer at the trade deadline, making him the leading candidate to resume the role next season.
Yates got the save against the Dodgers on Friday, working around one earned run on two hits over 1.1 innings to close out San Diego's 5-3 victory. He struck out two and walked none. It wasn't entirely smooth sailing as he gave up an RBI single to Manny Machado that hacked into the Padres' lead but Yates ended up striking out Joc Peterson to end the contest and lock up his 10th save of the season. He's having an excellent 2018 campaign despite this relatively shaky performance, as Yates now has a 2.11 ERA and a minuscule 0.91 WHIP with 84 strikeouts over 59.2 innings.
Yates gave up two hits and a run but still picked up the save against the Mariners on Wednesday, striking out one and walking none in the ninth inning to close out San Diego's 5-4 victory. Yates made it interesting after giving up a pair of hits in the ninth, including a solo homer to Kyle Seager, but he eventually slammed the door to preserve the one-run victory. The right-hander now has nine saves in 10 chances on the season to go along with a 2.06 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 79 strikeouts across 56.2 innings.