ANAHEIM (CBSLA) - The Los Angeles Angels are reportedly bringing their closer back on a four-year deal worth $58 million. The move was first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Raisel Iglesias, 31, pitched exclusively out of the bullpen for the Angels last season, making 65 appearances to the tune of a 2.57 ERA. He had 34 saves in 39 chances - fifth-best in the MLB, matching a career-high.
Iglesias had previously declined the Angels qualifying offer on November 17. A one-year deal worth $18.4 million.
In 70 innings this season, Iglesias struck out 103 batters, one less than the highest mark in his career - set when he was a starting pitcher. His 37.7% strikeout rate was the best of his career, and eighth-best in the MLB.
The Angels acquired Iglesias from the Cincinnati Reds heading into the 2021 season in exchange for Noé Ramirez and Leo Rivas. Ramirez was released by the Reds three months later, failing to make a single pitching appearance for Cincinnati. Ironically, he signed a minor league contract to return to Anaheim, eventually making two appearances out of the bullpen before he was again released. Rivas spent the entire season with the Reds AA-Affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Prior to his time with the Angels, Iglesias spent his entire MLB career with Cincinnati. He was signed as an international free agent out of Cuba, after several failed attempts to defect, in 2014. They signed him to a seven-year deal worth $27 million.
He began the 2015 season as a starting pitcher, making 16 starts for the Reds. He would hurl 95.1 innings, striking out 104 batters with a 4.25 ERA. His transition to the bullpen didn't come long after, as he earned his first career saves in 2016.
It's been all bullpen after that - since earning those six saves in 2016, Iglesias has notched 134 saves, 100 of which came with the Reds, bringing his career total to 140.
In seven professional seasons, Iglesias has posted a sub-3.00 ERA in five. His career mark sits at 3.08, with 582 punchouts over 481.2 innings pitched. His career WAR is 11.4.
This news comes in light of the Angels losing a couple of their pitchers to free agency, as Alex Cobb signed with the San Francisco Giants on a two-year, $20 million deal, and Dylan Bundy signed with the Minnesota Twins for one-year, worth $5 million.
The Angels have made some big moves this offseason, notably signing starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $21 million contract. They have also signed relief pitchers Aaron Loup (2-years, $17 million) and Michael Lorenzen (1-year, $6.75 million).
To open room on the 40-man roster for Iglesias, the Angels designated relief pitcher Sam Selman for assignment. The team acquired Selman from the Giants at the trade deadline in 2021, along with pitchers Ivan Armstrong and José Marte, in exchange for relief pitcher Tony Watson.
The club non-tendered utilityman Phil Gosselin on Tuesday, meaning the club did not offer him a contract for the upcoming season, making him a free agent.
On November 22, the Angels also traded for infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade from the New York Yankees,
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