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Angels make first big trade of MLB offseason by acquiring Reds closer Raisel Iglesias

Raisel Iglesias trade, Angels, Reds

The 2020 MLB Winter Meetings officially began on Monday, and the Los Angeles Angels have struck one of the first big trades of the offseason.

New Angels general manager Perry Minasian acquired closer Raisel Iglesias and cash from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Noe Ramirez and a player to be named later.

Iglesias had a tremendous 2020, posting a 2.74 ERA with a stellar 1.84 fielding independent pitching (FIP) mark. He has been one of the stronger closers in baseball in the past few years, saving at least 30 games in 2018 and 2019.

This was a pivotal move for the Halos, who desperately need a bullpen makeover after non-tendering a number of relievers prior to last Wednesday’s deadline. Iglesias will be a free agent next winter, but it is a move in line with L.A.’s desire to win now, and the 30-year-old fireballer gives the Angels a legitimate weapon at the back end of the bullpen.

The trade is equally significant for the Reds, albeit for much different reasons.

Cincinnati made the playoffs in 2020. But ace Trevor Bauer is a free agent, and the Reds might be tipping their hand after non-tendering Archie Bradley and now trading Iglesias.

Multiple reports have indicated the Reds are open to trading right-hander Sonny Gray, with Joel Sherman of the New York Post reporting Cincinnati is “working hard” to move Gray this offseason.

It is possible the Reds are looking to punt in 2021, cutting payroll and moving valuable assets so as to accrue prospects and set themselves up for contention in the future.

In any case, Iglesias is headed to L.A., and the Angels figure to be one of the more active teams for the remainder of the offseason.