The Texas Rangers have started adding to their roster.
The 36-year-old Yates made 61 appearances last season out of the Atlanta Braves bullpen. He went 7-2 with a 3.28 ERA and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 60.1 innings pitched.
Yates faded a bit down the stretch but was a key piece for a Braves team that dominated the regular season. Now the Rangers hope that Yates can do the same for them after Atlanta declined Yates' $5.75 million option for 2024.
Yates has pitched for four other teams over his nine MLB seasons (San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees), but he was a member of the Braves’ bullpen the past two seasons after missing all of 2021 due to undergoing Tommy John surgery. Yates was an All-Star in 2019 with San Diego, the Padres’ only representative that year, and led MLB with 41 saves at season’s end.
The Rangers also still need to finish a deal for free-agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery. Texas reportedly wants to bring him back.
Montgomery had his best season yet as a pro in 2023, posting career-highs in strikeouts, innings pitched and wins, starting 32 games for the second time in seven MLB seasons. After being traded to the Rangers in late July, Montgomery became a different pitcher and proved to be perhaps the best trade acquisition of the 2023 season.
In 11 regular-season starts with Texas, Montgomery went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA, recording eight quality starts. He allowed one or no runs in six of those starts, including each of his last four to help the Rangers reach the playoffs.
Montgomery wasn’t done there though as he put together a phenomenal postseason en route to winning the World Series with the Rangers. His 2.90 ERA was the best among Rangers starters during the playoffs as he posted two shutouts and tossed 2.1 scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 of the ALCS.