Angels fans, after five consecutive losing seasons, are praying for improvement for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014. So far, new general manager Perry Minasian’s first two moves have both been solid acquisitions, cornering the market on MLB players named Iglesias.
The latest is nabbing closer Raisel Iglesias from the Reds, in exchange for reliever Noé Ramirez and a player to be named later or cash on Monday. The Reds are also sending cash in the deal to help cover Iglesias’ $9.125 million salary in 2021, though that amount is not yet known.
Raisel Iglesias, like shortstop Jose Iglesias, who was acquired last Wednesday from the Orioles, is a free agent after 2021, an indication that the Angels think they can contend next season. Owner Arte Moreno specifically mentioned relief help as a main concern this offseason during Minasian’s introductory press conference last month.
“Last year we blew 14 saves,” Moreno said on Nov. 17. “You look at teams that are winning, they’re closing out their games and competing at a different level in extra inning games.
“At the end of the day, we weren’t finishing games, and those Ls need to turn into Ws. We don’t look at it like we need to remodel the whole team. We just need to add some pieces that are going to give us a better chance to compete at the highest level.”
Those 14 blown saves by the Angels were tied for the most in baseball in 2020. Iglesias saved eight games in 10 chances last year and has 106 saves with an 87% success rate in his career. Iglesias’ 100 saves since the start of 2017 rank fifth in the majors.
Iglesias last year for Cincinnati had a 2.74 ERA and a 1.84 FIP that ranked seventh in MLB, with 31 strikeouts and five walks in 23 innings. His strikeout rate (34.1%) and walk rate (5.5%) were both the best of his career, the second straight season he improved in both numbers. Among returning Angels pitchers, Iglesias had the best walk rate and the second-best strikeout rate, trailing only Mike Mayers (35.5%) in the latter.
No single move is going to turn the Angels into contenders. But with this trade, like the one last week, the club got a little bit better. And that should help the cause.
Angels fans, what grade do you give this move?
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