The Washington Nationals will take a long, hard look at Cincinnati Reds closer Raisel Iglesias. A closer look why he is on top of the list.
In the never-ending quest to find a closer, the Washington Nationals carry a definite interest in Cincinnati Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias.
Under team control through the end of the 2020 season, Iglesias is a hard-throwing righty with powerful credentials. With a hits-per-9 ratio of 5.0 this year, you understand why the Nats want him. His stuff is electric.
A four-pitch pitcher, Iglesias features a fastball topping out at 99 with a sinker to match. Brooks Baseball says his changeup rounds around 90-91 MPH mixed with a slider in the high-80s. Although his fastball is his dominant pitch, he will mix the offspeed in frequently along with that hard sinker.
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The Reds are not a playoff factor in the weak National League Central. If they want to stock up on prospects, Iglesias can be had. With Koda Glover still injured, along with no one capable of stepping up in the role, Iglesias is the best pitcher on the market on a non-contending team.
With one blown save in 16 tries, he has 50 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. His WHIP of 0.936 is excellent. When batters make contact off Iglesias, the success rate is .231. Overall, opponents this year carry a slash line of .162/.245/.232. Yes, his allowed slugging percentage is lower than the on-base percentage. Stunning.
If there is a concern, it is his control. Although he throws strikes, his walks-per-9 is 3.5. When you combine it with his 10.8 strikeouts-per-9, you wonder if he is pressing too hard trying to make perfect pitches.
On the flip side, balls stay in the yard. Iglesias has surrendered two homers in 35 games. Opponents have eight earned runs off him this year. The Reds were smart last season to watch Aroldis Chapman go as Iglesias is almost that good.
In his third year, the Reds converted him from a starter his rookie season in 2015 to the closer he is today. Eighth in the NL in saves, Iglesias is second behind Brandon Maurer by two on non-contending teams with better overall numbers.
The Reds know Washington and others have an interest. With the Nats leverage lowering every night, the price will be high. If they think Iglesias gets them the World Series, or at least into the NL Championship Series, for a Victor Robles, then they must consider it.
Roberto Osuna of the Toronto Blue Jays is a better pitcher with a cheaper price tag, but the Jays are not out of the American League Wild Card chase. They are not confirmed sellers.
If the Nats decide Iglesias is their guy, he puts them over the competitive balance tax by a couple million. Again, if he is the championship piece of the puzzle, spend the money.
Iglesias is a great fit. How they get him, or if, is the story to watch.