With the obvious goal of shedding payroll, the Cincinnati Reds traded closer Raisel Iglesias and some cash to the Los Angeles Angeles on Monday for reliever Noé Ramirez and a player yet to be named.
Iglesias was outstanding at the end of last season, allowing just one earned run in his final 15 appearances. For the year, he finished with a 2.74 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 23 innings, converting eight of 10 save opportunities. He is one of just five closers in all of baseball with 100 saves since 2017.
But he is also owed $9.125 million next season and becomes a free agent in 2021. That apparently is too steep and too risky for the Reds, who are clearly going all-in to cut costs this winter. Prior to the Iglesias trade, the Reds released Archie Bradley, Brian Goodwin and Curt Casali to slash payroll by about $20 million.
Of course, this trade means that they will no longer have a closer as impactful as Iglesias, or even any closer at all, really.
Ramirez sure isn’t expected to be that guy, either. Most of his work came in middle innings, when he compiled a 3.00 ERA in 21 appearances last season, striking out 14 and walking nine. Ramirez will turn 31 on Dec. 2.