The Dodgers were in pursuit of free-agent reliever Liam Hendriks earlier this offseason, but that interest “has recently dissipated,” Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times writes. While Hendriks is viewed as the best reliever available on the open market, the former Athletics closer reportedly wants a four-year contract, and the Dodgers aren’t willing to sign him to that long of a deal, according to Castillo.
Although Hendriks appears to be out of the mix for Los Angeles, the reigning World Series champions do have other high-end relievers on their radar. Along with the previously reported Brad Hand, the Dodgers are eyeing right-hander Kirby Yates, per Castillo, who adds that they “have significant interest in him.” Yates shouldn’t cost as much as Hendriks or Hand, having missed almost all of last season with elbow problems, but the ex-Padres standout could be a relatively low-risk, high-reward pickup for any team that signs him. After all, the 33-year-old is just two seasons removed from posting a ridiculous 1.19 ERA with a 41.6 percent strikeout rate and a 5.3 percent walk rate over 60 2/3 innings. Yates also saved a National League-high 41 games in 44 chances that year.
A Yates signing for the Dodgers would be somewhat similar to 2020 additions such as Blake Treinen and Jake McGee, in that they’d be landing a proven reliever whose stock isn’t at an all-time high on a short-term pact. Both signings worked out well for LA last season, and the team was so impressed with Treinen’s work that it brought him back on a two-year, $17.5MM guarantee in free agency.