The Braves waited until the last moment to make their biggest splash of the trade deadline, pulling the trigger on a deal that sent Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson to the Los Angeles Angels for Raisel Iglesias. The former Angels closer has been money since coming to Atlanta, allowing just one earned run over 15.2 innings (0.57 ERA), and the best part about it is the Braves have him locked up for the next three years as well. So, it’s no surprise that Bleacher Report recently named the deal the third-best trade that took place at the deadline.
The Angels were clearly feeling some buyer’s remorse on Raisel Iglesias, as their trade of the 32-year-old to Atlanta came mere months after they had re-signed him to a four-year, $58 million contract in the offseason.
Suffice it to say that Atlanta hasn’t been feeling anything of the sort since taking on the remainder of Iglesias’ contract in the deal. He’s allowed all of one earned run through 15.2 innings with the defending World Series champs, with 19 strikeouts against only four walks.
Unlike Martin in Los Angeles, Iglesias hasn’t gained any velocity in Atlanta. Yet he has adjusted his pitch mix to feature more changeups and benefited accordingly. Since he made his Atlanta debut on Aug. 5, batters are 3-for-20 with 10 strikeouts against his change.
Atlanta has nonetheless stuck with Kenley Jansen in the closer’s role even as he’s hit a rocky patch with a 5.27 ERA since Iglesias’ arrival. But given that Iglesias also has closing experience in addition to the hot hand, don’t be surprised if they eventually make a switch.
This trade is even more of a slam dunk because a few weeks after the Angels acquired Jesse Chavez, they released him, and the Braves were able to pick him back up. Since returning to Atlanta, Chavez has allowed just one earned run over 5.1 innings (1.69 ERA).
Iglesias will be a critical piece of the Braves for the foreseeable future, and I’m loving this trade more and more every day. Now, if Brian Snitker would just hop on board and make him the full-time closer, this move would start to look even better. Kenley Jansen has been a mess of late, and Iglesias has been closing games for the Angels and Reds since 2017. It’s well past time to make a change.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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