3 Trade deadline misses who could’ve saved Red Sox season
Raisel Iglesias: Los Angeles Angels to Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves adding Raisel Iglesias to their already-stacked bullpen was just unfair and the Sox got a taste of that not long after, when the Braves came back to their former city for a Fenway series.
While Iglesias had struggled through the first half of the season, posting a 4.04 ERA over 39 appearances, he’d finished 32 games and earned 16 saves. And when his west coast A-team sent him to the east coast A-team, the 32-year-old went back to being lights-out. Over 28 regular-season appearances for the Braves, he had a minuscule 0.34 ERA and his WHIP dropped from 1.065 to 0.835.
Iglesias worked as a starter and reliever in the first two seasons of his career, but since 2017, has solely pitched in relief. Over 351 appearances since that first bullpen-only season, the righty has a 2.80 ERA and 1.051 WHIP. He’s finished 284 games and earned 151 saves.
It’s true that the Sox inked Matt Barnes to an extension in 2021 and gave one to Garrett Whitlock back in April, but Barnes’ extension is only two years with a club option for 2024. The Angels signed Iglesias to a 4 year, $58M extension ahead of the 2022 season.
And let’s be honest: the Boston bullpen just never feels good enough. Alex Cora using his starting rotation for over a dozen innings of relief work in the 2018 postseason run spoke volumes about the state of the late-inning guys. That was one of the best seasons in franchise history, so think about the bullpen every other year. No lead is safe.
While Iglesias did struggle against the Phillies in the NLDS, allowing one earned run on three hits in Game 4, the game was already pretty much won. The Phillies entered the bottom of the sixth with a 4-2 lead and then scored two runs off A.J. Minter before Iglesias came in and allowed a third.
Even if Iglesias hadn’t been able to save the season, it would’ve been great to have him locked in for the next three.