Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Cimber’s Great, But What’s Next For The Bullpen?

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 11: Raisel Iglesias #32 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers a ninth-inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 11, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Angels won 6-5 in ten innings. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 11: Raisel Iglesias #32 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers a ninth-inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 11, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Angels won 6-5 in ten innings. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 04: Raisel Iglesias #32 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after pitching out of a bases loaded, no outs jam in the eighth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 04: Raisel Iglesias #32 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after pitching out of a bases loaded, no outs jam in the eighth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 4, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Raisel Iglesias RHP LAA

Back in December, the Los Angeles Angels attempted to strengthen their bullpen by going out and acquiring Reds closer Raisel Iglesias.  Iglesias was coming off a fantastic 2020 season, posting a 2.74 ERA, while striking out a career-high 12.1 batters per nine, in 23 innings of work.

The Angels were hoping that the Cuban native would be able to repeat his stellar season and shore up the ninth inning for a team that has had issues closing out games in years prior.  Unfortunately for the Halos, Iglesias hasn’t helped them inch any closer to a playoff spot, and because of this, the right-hander may be on the move again within the next couple of weeks.

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Iglesias had a dreadful beginning to his 2021 campaign, posting an ERA of 6.00 in the month of April. This slow start really hurt the Angels and although Iglesias has looked like his normal self in May and June, posting a 3.00 and 2.84 ERA in those months respectively, the Halos haven’t been able to make up any ground and are still eight games out of a playoff spot and on their way to missing out on October baseball for a 7th consecutive year.

Eight games isn’t an impossible amount to make up, All-World center fielder Mike Trout is still on the IL for at least another couple of weeks, which will make it even more difficult to catch one of the Wild Card teams.  GM Perry Minasian may elect that the best course of action to take is to sell at the deadline.  If the Angels do look to unload talent, the Jays should be all over Iglesias.

The right-hander would be a perfect complement to Jordan Romano at the back end of the bullpen.  Though he doesn’t have the same kind of fastball that the Markham native possesses, Iglesias can still run it up there, with a heater that averages 96MPH and has high spin rates, giving it a little extra life.

He combines his plus fastball with two offspeed pitches, a sharp slider, and a power changeup that both play well off his heater and have helped him punch out 14.1 batters per nine innings this season.  Due to the fact that Iglesias is a rental, he shouldn’t break the bank from a prospect standpoint and will probably demand a similar return to which the Blue Jays had to cough up to acquire Cimber.

If the price point is right from a prospect trade view, Raisel Iglesias would be a great addition to the back end of the Blue Jays bullpen and would provide an experienced option to pitch in the eighth inning ahead of Romano while also providing a safety net in case someone else needs to pick up saves.

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