In an article considering likely trade candidates for Cincinnati’s Reds, who were 32-44, and 7.5 games out in the NL Central when the article was written, and are 36-48 and 9.5 games out now, Cincinnati Enquirer writer C. Trent Rosencrans wrote that while a trade of Reds’ closer Raisel Iglesias “isn’t likely” the 27-year-old would be the one to deal, “if you want to maximize your return.”
“Iglesias could bring back some real talent,” Rosencrans wrote. “He’s owed $14.5 million over the next three years, but can opt out when he’s eligible for arbitration. This would hurt in the short-term, but gives you the best return.”
Iglesias, signed out of Cuba to a 7-year/$27M deal in 2014, has a 1.59 ERA, a 2.70 FIP, 16 walks (3.63 BB/9), 46 Ks (10.44 K/9), 15 saves, and a .156/.245/.222 line against in 39 2⁄3 innings pitched in his second season as a reliever.
Moved into a relief role after dealing with shoulder injuries when he was starting with the Reds, Iglesias has flourished in the role, and enjoyed it.
"I love it. I like to be out there," Iglesias told MLB.com this winter. "I feel comfortable in the bullpen. I feel like I can give it 100 percent there every time. I think that's my role, I love it."
Iglesias has averaged 96.5 mph with his four-seam fastball as a reliever (up from 92-93 mph as a starter). He has a 96+ mph sinker (up from 92 as a starter), 88.5 mph changeup, and an 85 mph slider.
Opposing hitters have a .268 AVG against his sinker, have hit .135 against the slider, .203 against the four-seamer, and .389 against the change, his least-used offering.
Iglesias has dialed his fastball up over triple-digits as the season has gone along.
“I know the velocity was going to be up,” Iglesias told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan in late June. “When I touched 100 and 101, I was surprised myself.”
According to MLB Network analyst Jon Morosi, Iglesias is one of the many rumored relievers of interest to the Washington Nationals as they seek to bolster their relief corps with the non-waiver trade deadline approaching:
Not everyone seems to believe that Iglesias is going to get traded:
I'm sure every team in baseball is interested in Raisel Iglesias. I highly doubt he goes anywhere. https://t.co/7lArbTNgDt— Zach Buchanan (@ZachENQ) July 6, 2017
Will the Nationals be willing to pay what would likely be a steep price to convince the Reds to part with the young, controllable right-handed reliever, who would give them one of the bullpen pieces they need?