The trade deadline is just 13 days away and teams are going to have to decide soon if they are buying or selling. This year relief pitchers are some of the best players available on the trade market. Here is a list of the top relievers that could be traded this year.
The Padres are in an interesting position as the deadline approaches. They are currently last in the NL West with a record of 46-50 and are 16.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, they are only 3.5 games out of a wildcard spot. San Diego can decide to hold onto Yates as he has one more year on his contract. Unless they are blown away by a proposal they will probably hold onto him. But teams should look in a Yates trade as he is the best reliever that could be moved.
Yates has an ERA of 1.07, with 67 strikeouts, and is 31/33 in save opportunities. Yates has started to prove himself as a shutdown closer and also has experience in the eighth inning. He is having career highs in K/9 (14.36), K/BB (7.44), ERA, saves, opponents batting average (.169), opponents OBP (.230) opponents slugging percentage (.230), opponents OPS (.460), and WAR (2.3).
Yates has another year left on his contract and will cost an arm and a leg to acquire but will be worth it.
The San Fransisco Giants are finally entering a rebuild after dominating in the early 2010s. Will Smith is having another stellar year with the Giants and has become their top reliever.
Smith has an ERA of 2.75 with 56 strikeouts, and is 24/26 in save opportunities. He has a career-high in K/BB with a 6.22. He also has the best K/9(12.81) of his career since 2015 when he posted a 12.93. Similar to Kirby Yates, Smith has started to prove himself as an efficient closer and also has experience in the eighth inning.
Smith is a free agent after this season, but can help put a contenders bullpen over the top.
Ken Giles has rebounded with Toronto and looks like his 2017 self. He has a 1.69 ERA with 54 strikeouts and is 13/14 in save opportunities.
Giles fell apart in the 2017 postseason after he had a strong regular season. In 7.2/3 innings in the 2017 playoffs, he had an ERA of 11.74. He went 2/3 in saves and was 0-2. In 2018 he was traded to Toronto and finished the season with an ERA of 4.65. Now Giles has turned things around and has a career-high in K/9 with 15.19.
Like Kirby Yates, he has another year left on his contract and can help anchor a teams bullpen.
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