How the Seattle Mariners are affected by Angels trading for Raisel Iglesias

Lee Vowell
Sep 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cincinnati Reds closer Raisel Iglesias delivers a pitch. He just joined the Mariners' rival. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cincinnati Reds closer Raisel Iglesias delivers a pitch. He just joined the Mariners' rival. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Raisel Iglesias throws. He just joined the Mariners' rival.
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 4: Raisel Iglesias of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. He just joined the Seattle Mariners’ rival. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Angels have acquired closer Raisel Iglesias and this could affect the Seattle Mariners in 2021

The Seattle Mariners are an improving team with a very good farm system and appear to be good with staying put and not making splash moves to greatly improve their 2021 chances of making the playoffs. The AL West division rival, Los Angeles Angels on the other hand are willing to make trades to improve their 2021 team.

Los Angeles has now traded for closer Raisel Iglesias from the Reds and this could make the Angels better next year than the Mariners will be. The Angels also acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Orioles earlier this month, to replace free agent Andrelton Simmons. But don’t worry Mariners fans. It will be OK.

In 2020, Seattle went 27-33 and finished one game better than the Angels (26-34) in the AL West. One huge issue that held Los Angeles back this past year is their inability to close out games. Los Angeles was tied with the Phillies for most blown saves in baseball with 14. The Angels had the third-worst save percentage last year. The league average was 61 percent and the Angels were at 46 percent.

Had the Angels saved 61 percent of their games, they would have won four more games and finished with a 30-30 record. This would have put them in the playoffs and it would have pushed the Mariners from third in the division to fourth.

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Raisel Iglesias could make the Angels several games better than they were in 2020. Iglesias has been the Cincinnati Reds closer for the last four years and he has been good. In 2020, Iglesias had 10 save opportunities and saved 8 games. He came into games inheriting 9 runners and none of those runners scored. Since becoming a full-time closer in 2017, Iglesias has blown 16 games but in 122 chances. There is no doubt that he is good.

In fact, Iglesias might be good enough to make the Angels a little better than the Seattle Mariners next year. Likely, the Astros and A’s might still be a tick better than the Mariners too. If it does look like Seattle is going to finish near the bottom of their division next year, this might mean that Seattle keeps their prospects on the farm a bit longer. So, Seattle Mariners fans that are ready for Seattle to finish over .500 in 2021 might have to wait one more year to see that.

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The movement in the AL West for next year will heavily affect what Jerry DiPoto decides to do with young players next year. And that is OK because the Mariners are planning for a bright future and will get there slowly but surely. 2022 and beyond is more important than 2021.

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