When the Braves signed Kirby Yates to a two year deal after the 2021 season, it caught a lot of folks attention as Yates was one of the better relievers in the league before he had to have Tommy John surgery. Upon his return in late 2022 for Atlanta, the results were decidedly mixed as he had a 5.14 ERA in nine appearances, but there were certainly some flashes of the filthy stuff he had shown in the past.
The 2023 season for Kirby was....strange. On the surface, a 3.28 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 60.1 innings of work seems like a guy that the Braves should be more than happy to exercise his $5.75 club option for 2024. However, Yates was very often an adventure when he came into games and not in the fun way. His walk rate remained sky high at 5.5 BB/9 and when you combine that with an inability to consistently keep the ball on the ground as well as giving up hard contact, you have a recipe for disaster.
Yates' option is just cheap enough that it wouldn't be completely insane for Atlanta to exercise it, but he shouldn't be relied upon in high leverage situations. The walks are too numerous and the peripherals too spooky for that to happen again. In an ideal world, the Braves would use the money to go after a reliever that doesn't give fans blood pressure problems and who the Braves could slot in as a seventh inning guy without having to worry about immediately having a couple baserunners to deal with.