The Atlanta Braves signed right-hander Kirby Yates to a two-year, $ .25 million contract, the team announced Monday.
Yates will earn $ 1 million in 2022 and $ 6 million in 2023. The contract has a team option of $ 5.75 million for the 2024 season that includes a $ 1.25 million exit clause.
Yates signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in January but did not pitch for the team this season after undergoing surgery from Tommy John in March. It was the second time in his career that he had the operation.
He led the Major Leagues in saves in 2019 when he had 41 for the San Diego Padres. He had a career-best 1.19 ERA that season in 60⅔ innings pitched. He pitched just 4⅓ innings for San Diego during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before undergoing season-ending surgery in August to remove bone splinters from his right elbow.
Yates joins a highly effective bullpen that was a big reason for the Braves’ surprising run to the championship. Closer Will Smith returns, along with Tyler Matzek, AJ Minter and Luke Jackson.
Yates, 34, is 12-17 with 57 saves and a 3.54 ERA in seven major league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Padres.
The Braves also announced Monday that the Philadelphia Phillies reclaimed right-hander Yoan Lopez from the exemptions. Lopez was acquired last May from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but spent the rest of the season at the Triple-A branch in Gwinnett.
In another move to add depth to their reliever corps, the Braves agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Darren O’Day, 39, who was very effective in a previous season with the Braves but has suffered from injuries. .
The Associated Press contributed to this report.