Toronto Blue Jays closer Kirby Yates had successful Tommy John surgery on Wednesday and will miss the entire 2021 season.
General manager Ross Atkins revealed on Tuesday that Yates would "most likely" need Tommy John. The injuries are just the latest hurdle for a pitcher who was one of the best closers in baseball in 2019, after Yates was limited to just six appearances in 2020 before needing elbow surgery while as a member of the San Diego Padres.
Yates, who turned 34 on Thursday, joined the Blue Jays in free agency on a one-year, $5.5-million guaranteed deal with another $4.5 million in possible incentives. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that the Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves had both raised concerns with Yates's elbow in off-season physicals and that the Blue Jays lowered their contract offer to the right-hander as a result.
“Our take is that he was healthy, he had no pain, no symptoms whatsoever," Atkins said on Tuesday, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi. "It would be better to have a medical expert say chronic versus acute or acute on chronic. But this is part of it with someone that was coming off of a procedure… Just part of it that didn’t work out for the Blue Jays this year.”