The Los Angeles Angels have traded closer Raisel Iglesias to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for starter Tucker Davidson and veteran journeyman reliever Jesse Chavez. The trade comes just eight months after the Angels agreed to a four-year, $58 million contract extension with Iglesias.
Iglesias was given his extension after a 2021 season in which he was one of the best closers in the Major Leagues. However, he was unable to replicate that success in 2022. In 39 appearances, Iglesias had a 4.04 ERA and 1.065 WHIP, collecting 16 saves in the process.
He allowed 16 earned runs in 35.2 innings this season after allowing just 20 earned runs in 70.0 innings last season. His ERA+ of 100 is league average after posting a 174 in this category in 2021.
For the Angels, this move was not just about Iglesias’ struggles. It was also financial, as the Braves are reportedly going to pay the entirety of his four-year deal. He has about $51 million owed over the next four seasons, and it is now on the Braves — not the Angels — to cover that.
Iglesias, 32, was given a back-loaded contract worth $10 million in 2022, but $16 million in 2023, 2024, and 2025. The Angels only paid about $7 million of his contract before finding a taker via trade. Of course, this significantly lessened the return package they received from the Braves.
Davidson, a 26-year old starting pitcher, has a 5.11 ERA, 1.568 WHIP, and 87 ERA+ in nine career MLB appearances, eight of them starts. He has a 4.59 ERA in Triple-A this season, but it would not be surprising if he joined the Angels MLB roster following this trade.
With the Angels trading Brandon Marsh, Noah Syndergaard, and Iglesias, they have some room on the Major League roster. The player they received in the Marsh deal — Logan O’Hoppe — was not placed on the 40-man roster yet, allowing for even more roster flexibility.
Meanwhile, Chavez returns to the Angels for the second time after spending the 2017 season in Anaheim as a combination starter-reliever. He pitched 138.0 innings for the Angels that season, but has since transitioned to being a full-time reliever.
In 2022 — Chavez’s age-38 season — he has a 2.66 ERA in 34 appearances, 31 for the Braves and three for the Chicago Cubs. He has struck out 50 batters in 44 innings of work, and could provide some bulk for the Angels the rest of this season.
Angels deal Syndergaard for Mickey Moniak
As part of the Syndergaard trade, the Angels received former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak from the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite his massive struggles thus far in the Major Leagues, Moniak has been raking at the Minor League level, and the Angels are hopeful the 26-year old has something in the tank.
They also saved some money — about $7 million — by having the Phillies take on the remainder of Syndergaard’s one-year contract.