The Angels just found their new closer in right-hander Raisel Iglesias.
The Angels appear to have found their new closer as they announced the acquisition of Raisel Iglesias from the Cincinnati Reds this morning. In exchange, the Angels sent right-handed reliever Noe Ramirez and cash considerations to Cincinnati.
Iglesias was once a consensus top-50 prospect in the sport as a starting pitcher. While he was a capable starter, the Reds felt they could deploy him out of the bullpen more effectively and they may have been right. Iglesias has developed into a very solid back-end arm and will now serve that purpose with the Angels.
The Angels practically non-tendered their entire bullpen, including Hansel Robles and Keynan Middleton, opening up space for Raisel Iglesias amongst other relievers the Angels are sure to bring in in the near future. After not having a determined closer for the better part of the last five seasons, the Angels will actually get some sort of consistency in the ninth inning — likely a welcome sight for fans.
Raisel Iglesias, who is going to be 31 years old when the 2021 season opens up, is only under contract for one season for just over $9 million in salary. That’s a good deal of money to pay for a rental when the Angels simply don’t know if they are going to be in the hunt for a playoff spot or not. However, if the Angels do plan to build out their roster to be a contender this off-season, Iglesias could be a huge part of the foundation being laid by the front office. Having a steady reliever is always a huge boon for the confidence and morale of a ball club.
Iglesias posted a 2.74 ERA and an even better 1.84 FIP in 2020 across 23 innings of work. He also boasted a 31 to 5 strikeout to walk ratio, an excellent margin there as well. Iglesias does not walk many batters and he has shown the propensity to strike guys out in bunches, great qualities to have as a closer. He holds a career 3.15 ERA across his six pro seasons with the Reds. That figure is also slightly inflated by his days as a starting pitcher as he has actually posted a lifetime 2.88 ERA as a reliever. That’s excellent.
All in all, the Angels did well to get Iglesias, someone who was rumored to be very expensive at previous trade deadlines when he had more years of control on his deal. Now that he is a rental, the Angels did well in terms of how much value they were forced to give up. Getting a back-end arm as formidable as Iglesias is a huge step in the right direction and may point at more to come. As the new general manager, Perry Minasian has made his first big move and it appears to be a very impactful one.