The Los Angeles Angels had the 7th worst bullpen in Major League Baseball last season by ERA. However, none of that was the fault of Raisel Iglesias, who was one of the best closers in the league ahead of his impending free agency.
Iglesias pitched in 65 games, totaling 70 innings of work in 2021. In that time, he compiled 34 saves with an ERA of 2.57, a WHIP of 0.929, 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings, and an ridiculous 8.58 K-to-BB ratio. His advanced stats were among the best in the league in nearly every category.
Now, Iglesias is planning to stay in Anaheim for the long haul after reportedly agreeing to a four-year, $58 million deal just 24 hours before the expiration of the CBA, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2021
This deal gives Iglesias an Annual Average Value of $14.5 million, a relatively fair value given the explosive pitchers market this offseason. However, the four years is likely what created a lower AAV. Many projected Iglesias to a contract similar to Liam Hendriks in 2020, three years for $54 million.
After striking out on a number of top free agent starters, the Angels simply had to bring Iglesias back. Now, with him, Aaron Loup, potentially Michael Lorenzen, Austin Warren, Jose Quijada, and Mike Mayers, the Angels bullpen is starting to look like a solidified unit.
With less than 24 hours to go until the CBA expires, it’s unlikely the Angels complete another deal. When negotiations can re-open upon the agreement on a new CBA, L.A. can and should be in the market to add one more starter — and potentially one more bullpen piece — before calling their offseason complete.
Loup not concerned with role
In his introductory press conference, Loup was asked about what role he would like to play with the Angels. While he’s historically been used as a “lefty specialist,” Loup said he would be happy to play any role in Anaheim.