Los Angeles Angels Sign Aaron Loup To Two-Year Contract
Aaron Loup, 2021 Season
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract with free agent left-handed reliever Aaron Loup, the team announced Monday.

Loup, 33, spent the 2021 season with the New York Mets, where he was arguably one of baseball’s better relievers. In 65 appearances and 56.2 innings, Loup went 6-0 with an absurd 0.95 ERA and 0.935 WHIP. He struck out 57 batters compared to just 16 walks.

The veteran reliever was 99th percentile in barrel%, 94th percentile in xSLG against, 85th percentile in xwOBA against, and 85th percentile in xERA.

2021 was a career year for Loup, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a solid bullpen option for his entire career. For a position group that is usually very volatile, Loup has been consistent, posting sub-4.00 ERAs in all but two of his 10 seasons.

Loup signed a two-year deal worth $17 million. According to reports, the contract is worth a base of $7.5 million in 2022 and 2023 with a club option for $7.5 million in 2024. The remaining $2 million is based on incentives.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Loup, Hector Yan — a 22-year old reliever in the Minor Leagues — was designated for assignment after a down year in 2021.

The signing of Loup represents the first multi-year deal given to a free agent pitcher by the Angels since Joe Blanton in December of 2012. This is yet another sign of a massive commitment to pitching by Perry Minasian and the Halos.

This is the second Mets pitcher to relocate to Anaheim this winter, as Noah Syndergaard was the first major signing of the offseason by the Angels. They have also been connected to free agent starter Marcus Stroman, who is expected to receive interest from numerous teams.

At this moment, it’s hard to tell what this deal means for Raisel Iglesias. The Angels would undoubtedly love to have their staunch closer back, as Loup was more of a middle reliever and set-up type than a closer. However, the Loup signing brings the Angels’ estimated payroll to $159 million, just $21 million shy of the $180 mark they hit in 2021.

Minasian has hinted the Angels may surpass last year’s total, and they’ll have to if they want to bring back Iglesias and sign another starter. For now, they’ll be happy to bring in Loup after a dominant 2021 season.

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