The Los Angeles Angels and Cincinnati Reds swapped right-handed relievers on Monday afternoon, with Cincinnati sending closer Raisel Iglesias and cash considerations out west in exchange for Noe Ramirez and a player to be named later.
Iglesias, who will turn 31 years old in January, will make $9.125 million next season before qualifying for free agency. Over the last three seasons, he’s accumulated a 3.17 ERA (141 ERA+) and a 3.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio while recording 72 saves. Iglesias relies heavily on three pitches: a mid-90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup. Each is a capable bat-misser.
Iglesias figures to slot in as the Angels’ closer. He’s the second player acquired through trade by new general manager Perry Minasian in the past week, joining shortstop Jose Iglesias. The Angels are hoping to reach the postseason for the first time since 2014. Minasian figures to have more work ahead of him, particularly with regards to the rest of the pitching staff.
The Reds, for their part, are said to be willing to move right-handed starter Sonny Gray, suggesting the team is interested in shedding salary — that despite coming off their first playoff appearance since 2013. It’s unclear who will take over the ninth inning for Cincinnati next season: Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims would have to be considered the current favorites, though it’s possible the Reds add a veteran candidate before spring rolls around.
Ramirez, 31 in late December, has three additional years of team control remaining. In three full seasons spent with the Angels, he had a 4.13 ERA (107 ERA+) and a 3.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ramirez’s arsenal includes an upper-80s fastball, a changeup, and a swing-and-miss curveball. He’s projected to make more than a million in arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ forecast system.