Raisel Iglesias, Angels reportedly nearing 4-year, $58M deal
The Angels are reportedly nearing a four-year deal with closer Raisel Iglesias.
Iglesias, 31, was one of the best relievers in baseball last season, recording 34 saves and posting a 2.57 ERA with the Angels. The Angels gave him an $18.4 million qualifying offer, but he rejected it.
The timing of the deal is tricky because a lockout is expected to begin on Wednesday at 8:59 p.m. PT. If the Angels can’t finish the deal, including a physical, before then, the deal would remain in limbo throughout a lockout.
While the Angels appear to still have room for improvement in the rotation, they now potentially have a dominant back end of the bullpen.
The Angels would have arguably the two best relievers who were available on the free agent market, bringing back Iglesias and adding left-hander Aaron Loup.
Loup posted an 0.95 ERA last season with the New York Mets. Loup said the Angels had pursued him before, and this year it made sense for him.
“I like what the Angels have,” Loup said. “They’ve always had a ton of offense. And I feel like they’ve always needed a little bit of pitching and hopefully, I can be a part of the answer.”
Loup had been used as a lefty specialist earlier in his career, but once the three-batter rule came into effect in 2019, it gave him the chance to face more right-handed hitters, and he flourished.
“I’ve been trying to tell guys for years that I could get right-handers out too,” said Loup, who spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since signing a two-year deal with the Angels last week. “But being a left-handed sidearmer, you kind of get pigeonholed as being a lefty specialist.
“So I think that rule forced managers hands to kind of put me in situations that typically I wouldn’t normally be in, so it gave me a chance to showcase my abilities. It’s what I always knew I could do and just needed the chance to do it.”
In the last three seasons, Loup faced 131 lefties and allowed a .179 average. He faced 183 righties and allowed a .205 average.
General Manager Perry Minasian, who is expected to speak to the media on Wednesday, said last week the Angels don’t have a specific role in mind for Loup.
The Angels have also added pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen this winter, with Lorenzen’s $6.75 million, one-year deal becoming official earlier on Tuesday.
The Angels are expected to give Lorenzen a chance to start, even though he’s been primarily a reliever since 2016.
Syndergaard and Lorenzen join a rotation that includes Shohei Ohtani, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez. The Angels are running out of time to add more starting pitching before the lockout.
Several of the top available starters – Max Scherzer (Mets), Robbie Ray (Seattle Mariners), Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays) – have already agreed or reportedly agreed with other teams. Alex Cobb, who had a bounceback season with the Angels in 2021, also signed a deal with the San Francisco Giants.
The top remaining starters are Marcus Stroman, Carlos Rodon and Clayton Kershaw. The Angels also could make a trade for a starter like Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo, Oakland’s Sean Manaea or Oakland’s Chris Bassitt.