Initially, I was not going to include the Padres in this series about bullpens on non-contending teams. I realize that sounds ludicrous, because I don’t actually expect the Padres to hold their own against the Dodgers and Rockies. My focus on selecting teams, however, has been more about effort to contend than about the current makeup of a given roster. Still, even with their pursuit of players like Corey Kluber and Miguel Andujar and all of their emerging young talent, the team could very well be sellers at the trading deadline.
That means incumbent closer Kirby Yates could find himself pitching the latter part of the season someplace where he will have fewer opportunities for saves and fish tacos. There is a case to be made that Yates would be worth keeping around for the 2020 season when the Padres could be in a much better position to contend. However, if they wanted to trade Yates in order to fill another need or get reinforcements for the farm system, they have enough depth to provide a replacement closer and still have quality relievers for other roles.
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