From the general manager’s office, I have a pair of binoculars aimed at the Los Angeles Angels bullpen. Knowing full well the New York Mets are going to need some help in this area in July, my way too early trade deadline target is reliever Raisel Iglesias.
The 31-year-old Cuban transitioned from start to reliever early on in his career. The decision paid off as he became one of the most dominant closers in the game that the casual fan has never heard of.
The six-year veteran is a free agent after the 2021 season. Traded this winter to the Angels from the Cincinnati Reds, he’s someone that would fit right in with what New York needs.
Mets will need the Angels to underperform yet again to make this happen
The Angels are fully armed with some extreme talent. Beyond Mike Trout, they added several key pieces this winter. Never shy on paying players—they’re the ones that made Anthony Rendon a very rich man—it never seems to pay off for the Orange County club.
The Mets would need the Angels to be out of contention yet again to have any shot at acquiring Iglesias. If recent history holds true, there’s a chance we see it happen.
Upcoming free agent relievers often become available at the deadline. Dealing Iglesias away in a lost season would make a lot of sense for the Halos.
Alternatives for the Mets to watch
Among the other free agent relievers next winter that the Mets could possibly keep an eye on is Michael Lorenzen. A guy still with the Reds, he’s one of baseball’s most versatile players. A pitcher by trade, he has also spent time as an outfielder thanks to his athleticism and ability to hit baseballs pretty well.
The Reds are a little more likely to fall out of contention than the Angels based solely on what the two teams did this winter. As the Angels bought, the Reds sold.
The rest of the possibilities look like strict rentals. Iglesias (32) and Lorenzen (30) are on the younger side and possible long-term options.
Other names should appear on the radar at some point as teams we expected to perform well falter and names we don’t recognize shine on those below .500 squads. Scouting a relief pitcher for the Mets to target is a shorter game than any other position. The combination of availability on the market and ability on the field is what’s needed. Those high-performers on teams going nowhere with expiring contracts are the ones to get to know a little better this year.
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Something to keep in mind; if the Mets don’t make a trade for any of those names, they can at least have a shot at them in free agency.