The Cincinnati Reds are the very definition of a futile franchise at the moment, and some of their roster’s bright spots should be available for the taking in July. Raisel Iglesias hasn’t given up a run in the month of May, has a solid 0.86 WHIP, and a batting average against of .131 in 2018.
He’s only recorded six saves, but that’s due almost entirely to the fact that the Reds have only won 13 total games. He has 23 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched, and all of the eight walks he’s issued came prior to the start of May.
There are two potential barricades to a deal between the two Ohio clubs for Iglesias: he’s under contract through 2020 with an AAV of $5 million, and he may prefer to hold on to his role as a closer even with a new team.
On the matter of salary, it could very well make sense for the Indians to take on his contract. If in fact the Tribe is unable to re-sign one or both of Miller or Cody Allen this winter, having a relatively inexpensive replacement would allow the Indians to maintain contender status for the time being.
As far as Iglesias’ role goes, that’s a detail for the front office and coaching staff to iron out. The Indians clubhouse as a whole seems pretty willing to adjust their individual roles in order to help the team, and maybe there’s a way to convince Iglesias to get on board with that temporarily. Of course, if he wants to remain a closer, a 7-8-9 of Miller, Allen and Iglesias isn’t anything to sneeze at.
Iglesias represents one of the higher-end trade options for teams in search of bullpen help at the deadline, and he’ll command a haul in return. If the Indians find a way to reel him in, the impact on the team will be similar to the Miller acquisition in 2016.