For years, Los Angeles Angels fans have begged their team to get Mike Trout some help.
And in the 2021 season, we learned that it’s not just Trout who deserves help — it’s Shohei Ohtani, too.
Well, this offseason, the organization is making some noise.
In their latest move, the Angels re-signed relief pitcher Raisel Iglesias to a four-year deal worth $58 million.
Raisel Iglesias and #Angels in agreement on 4-year, $58 million deal, source confirms. Credit to @Ken_Rosenthal and @JeffPassan for being first with the reports. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2021
This is L.A.’s third major splash of the offseason — the first two were deals for Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Loup.
It’s not crazy to call this team a contender.
On paper, it certainly looks like the Angels are going to be in the playoff mix in 2022.
At minimum, they should be taken seriously.
What Re-Signing Iglesias Means For L.A.
Angels fans know what they’re getting in Iglesias.
The righty spent the 2021 season with the club, and the results were outstanding.
He posted a 2.57 ERA, 2.83 FIP, and 0.93 WHIP across 65 relief appearances.
He went 34-for-39 on save opportunities, which is a conversation rate of about 87 percent.
The 31-year-old was also a strikeout machine, fanning 103 batters in 70.0 innings of work.
Raisel Iglesias, slider x3 pic.twitter.com/0JmuNzEWek
— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) April 2, 2021
All of this was enough for Iglesias to receive consideration in the AL Cy Young race, as he finished 11th in voting.
That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a relief pitcher.
He’s one of the top bullpen arms in the game today, and he’ll look to maintain that distinction over the next few seasons with L.A.
So, what does this deal mean for the Angels?
In short, it means they’re going to have an elite late-innings relief combo next season.
When they signed Loup, that was undeniably a huge move, but had they lost Iglesias, the Loup singing would have lost a lot of luster.
Fortunately, both players are going to be wearing Angels uniforms in 2022.
A Loup/Iglesias duo is going to be lethal late in games.
The Angels Are Doing A Great Job Of Addressing Their Weaknesses
The Angels’ biggest problem in the 2021 season wasn’t their offense.
Although their offense wasn’t great, it was okay, and that was without Trout playing for the majority of the season.
Their real issues were found within their rotation and bullpen.
L.A.’s rotation ranked 22nd in the majors in ERA with an unsightly 4.78 mark.
The club’s bullpen, meanwhile, ranked 24th in the majors in ERA at 4.59.
Obviously, that’s not a good formula for success.
This offseason, however, the team is doing a great job of addressing its weak areas.
The Syndergaard signing has the potential to pay massive dividends depending on how he performs after Tommy John surgery.
Noah Syndergaard's first MLB pitch in two years was a 96-mph fastball. He then struck out Miguel Rojas on another 96-mph heater above the letters.
Syndergaard is officially back. pic.twitter.com/dZFtuGZP2W
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 28, 2021
With Syndergaard on the staff, the ceiling of L.A.’s rotation is going to be much higher in 2022 than it was in 2021.
As far as the team’s bullpen goes, things are looking up.
That aforementioned Loup/Iglesias combo is going to do wonders for this squad, and L.A. boats some other solid relief options (like Mike Mayers and Austin Warren) as well.
That’s a really good start.
The Angels have improved. Loup + Iglesias in bullpen is legit. Thor is a big upgrade, Lorenzen is a plus too. Should the Angels be done? No. But this is a very good place to be heading into CBA deadline. You cannot argue the Angels have improved their pitching. https://t.co/NZiIKiOysK
— Trent Rush (@TrentRushSports) December 1, 2021
The Angels shouldn’t be done making moves this offseason, but so far, they’ve done a great job of adding talent in the right areas.NEXT: 3 Things Angels Fans Have To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving