A move that came out of absolutely no where, The Cincinnati Reds have traded their 30 year old closer to the Los Angeles Angels, who has been with the team at the major league level since 2015. In that six season span, Iglesias has accumulated 106 saves, a 3.15 ERA/3.44 FIP/137 ERA+. In exchange for the 30 year old closer, the Reds will receive Noe Ramirez, and a PTBNL in return.
Looking for the outside of the mindset of the Reds management, this deal makes absolutely no sense, but the rumors swirling around, is that the Reds are in need to cut some money, and trading Iglesias (who was making around 5.7 million a year), was apparently the move they needed to make.
Iglesias has been an excellent late inning pitcher for the Reds in him time on the club, averaging a barrel percentage of 5.6 percent (league average: 6.4), and his strikeout numbers have always been above average, reaching a new high in 2020 at a 34.1 percent rate, which put him in the top 93rd percentile, among all qualified relievers.
Since 2018, Iglesias’ biggest difference maker, was his changeup becoming a more reliable pitch, which I dont think is a coincidence, that he was on the same team as Luis Castillo, who has one of the best changeups in the league. In 2018, he began throwing it with more consistency, and it payed off, as hitters hit only .138 against the pitch, and that trend continued all the way into 2020, as hitters hit .158 against it last season.
Returning to the Reds, as of right now, the only player we know for sure is Noe Ramirez, which if it comes around that its Ramirez and a lower-mid level prospect, this trade will look even worse. Ramirez came up with the Boston Red Sox back in 2015, and was claimed on waiver by the Angels in 2017. Since 2017, he has averaged a 3.42 ERA with the team, and has been an above average arm that averaged around 9.5-10.0 K/9 and does have a tiny bit of a walk problem.
In 2020, it was a really weird season for Ramirez, to put it in perspective, Ramirez is a movement over velocity pitcher, he averaged 88.7 MPH on his four seam fastball this last season, and was the pitch he threw the most. But surprisingly, Ramirez most successful pitch was that slower fastball, as hitters just managed a .071 BA against it, and managed a .267 against his CH, and a .313 against his CV.
From a front office standpoint, if the Reds needed to cut money that bad, there were much more deserving contracts that could have been attempted to be traded. How about the influx of outfield depth? and the fact that Nick Castellanos is going to make 14 million next year, and Shogo Akiyama is going to make 7 million. This trade in all honesty is going to come back to bite the Reds, as it leaves them without any form of established closer, being that Archie Bradley is currently a free agent, and their next best option would likely be Amir Garrett. The Reds also did not receive nearly enough back in return for their closer, as Ramirez might be a serviceable reliever, but the PTBNL needs to be an above average one to make this deal not look like an absolute slaughter.