The Top Option on the Market
The soon to be 32-year-old Iglesias has three 30+ save campaigns under his belt and is coming off of a career year in 2021 with the LA Angels, which saw him rack up 34 saves while pitching to a 3.18 ERA with a personal best 13.24 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched.
As of this writing, Iglesias has yet to make a decision on whether he will accept or reject the Angels qualifying offer of $18.4 million. Assuming he does reject it, there appears to be a robust market for him.
This Blue Jays front office historically has not been that keen on ponying up for players who have been tendered a qualifying offer because of the resulting draft pick compensation and they generally have looked at shorter-term free-agent relief contracts.
In 2020, Toronto was linked to stud free agent reliever Liam Hendriks, but he was not given a qualifying offer by the Oakland A’s, before ultimately signing a complex three-year $54 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.
Iglesias checks off all of the boxes that the Blue Jays should be looking for this offseason in a reliever as he has proven 9th inning experience with 140 career saves and the ability to miss bats at an elite rate, while also limiting walks (2.69 walks per 9.0 innings pitched).
The qualifying offer conundrum is a bit of a fly in the ointment, but this front office has shown that it will spend on players that they believe make the Blue Jays better and there is no free-agent reliever on the market that can make the same level of impact as Raisel Iglesias.