The Mets could call the Angels about a pair of very different but still very effective relievers.
The Angels may not sell at the deadline, but there’s certainly an argument that they should.
Sitting at 50-49 through Monday, the Halos are fourth in the AL West, a full 10 games behind the Astros. In the Wild Card race, they’re five games back of the A’s for the second spot and have Seattle, the other New York team, Toronto and Cleveland between them. They aren’t out of it, but in the scope of the AL, they’re right on the fringe of really falling from contention, only a handful of games above teams like Detroit and Kansas City.
The Angels do have the most electrifying player in baseball in Shohei Ohtani, so they might not want to give up on this year and become a non-competitive team, essentially wasting this historic season. However, they didn’t have a problem doing that for the last decade-ish with Mike Trout, so who’s to say that would be an issue now either.
If they sell, the soft-tossing Steve Cishek and flame-throwing Raisel Iglesias could be highly coveted by contenders looking for bullpen help.
Cishek, now 35 years old, is having a nice bounce-back season after his rough 2020. He’s not doing anything special, but his 3.48 ERA in an MLB-leading 50 games played is really solid.
He wouldn’t be the most exciting add, but he’s been about as consistent as they come over his decade-plus in the major leagues. He’s not as good as he was in Miami at the beginning of his career, but he’s still a very quality bullpen arm. Any team, including the Mets, could use an arm like Cishek.
While Cishek is good, Iglesias is better. Through 45.2 innings he’s put up an ERA of 3.35 with a career-low WHIP of 0.898.
His numbers are good, but they don’t really tell the full story. This season, Iglesias is in the top five percent in the league in a whole host of categories, including expected ERA, expected batting average, walk percentage, whiff percentage, chase rate and more. He’s been truly dominant this season, just a bit snake-bitten by the long ball.
He’s given up nine home runs this season, but the numbers say he’s been a bit unlucky. Per Baseball Savant, he should have only given up about six.
He’s also punched out 70 batters, making his strikeout per nine innings of 13.8 the fifth-best in baseball of all pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings. Edwin Diaz is sixth, and Iglesias is behind Matt Barnes, James Karinchak, Jacob deGrom and the league-leader Liam Hendriks.
Iglesias has already been really good this season, and that’s with getting a bit unlucky on top of it. He’s a premier back-end of the bullpen type arm, and would be another guy the Mets could confidently go to in high-leverage situations.