Braves sign Yates to 2-yr., $8.25 million deal

Contract with right-hander also includes a club option for ‘24

November 30th, 2021

The Braves signed right-handed reliever to a two-year contract on Monday, with a club option for 2024.

The deal will pay Yates $1 million in 2022 and $6 million in '23. The option for the '24 season is worth $5.75 million, with a $1.25 million buyout. Yates also agreed to donate 1% of his earnings in each year of his deal to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Yates, 34, signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays in January, but he missed the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 24. That came after he was limited to just 4 1/3 innings in 2020 before undergoing a procedure to remove bone chips in his right elbow. Yates also underwent Tommy John surgery in '06. It's uncertain when Yates will be ready to pitch in the Majors again, but reports indicate a mid-2022 return.

Prior to his arm issues the past two seasons, Yates had established himself as one of baseball's top relievers.

After posting a 2.14 ERA over 63 innings for the Padres in 2018, Yates took his game to yet another level in '19. He earned his first career All-Star selection on his way to putting up a 1.19 ERA and recording a Major League-leading 41 saves, all while striking out 101 batters over 60 2/3 innings. That was good enough for a ninth-place finish in 2019 NL Cy Young Award voting.

Yates will join a Braves bullpen that finished seventh in the NL last season with a 3.94 ERA, though Atlanta's relief corps posted a 3.11 ERA in the postseason en route to capturing the club's first World Series title since 1995.