This week’s respondents are Nick Carrington, Chad Dotson, Chris Garber, Bill Lack and Steve Mancuso.

Our Daily Reds Obsession: Should the Reds trade Raisel Iglesias this offseason?

Nick: The Reds should trade anybody in the right deal including Iglesias. He’s a dominant reliever, and contending teams have paid a premium for such talent in the past. If another teams is willing to improve their starting pitching or position player prospects substantially, the Reds would be foolish not to do it. I don’t want to see Iglesias go because he’s the best pitcher on the staff right now, but relievers are what they are: simultaneously valuable and expendable. If the Reds could somehow package him and a corner outfielder for some premium young talent, deal him. If not, extend him to 90 innings out of the bullpen this season.

Chad: The answer to this is the same as the answer if you replace Iglesias’ name above with any other player in the Reds organization: it depends. I’m a firm believer in the concept that no players are “untouchable,” and there are no exceptions to that rule. Do I want the Reds to trade Joey Votto or Nick Senzel or Eugenio Suarez? Well, no, of course not. But if, for example, the Reds could acquire Mike Trout for any of these players, sure the Reds should pull the trigger. Everyone has their price.

That said, I don’t see any reason the Reds should be actively shopping Raisel Iglesias. He’s an exceptionally good pitcher — even if he’s just a reliever — signed to a relatively cheap contract who will not be a free agent until 2022. He can be a valuable member of the next good Reds team. The flip side of that is that Iglesias could have significant value on the trade market, especially to a team in need of a shut-down reliever. If one of those teams comes calling, GM Dick Williams should not hesitate to trade Iglesias. But Williams should extract maximum value in any such deal. There’s no reason to trade Iglesias unless the Reds get a haul in return.

Chris: Not unless the offer is literally too good to refuse. Iglesias is under team control through 2021. While there’s no certainty that the Reds will be competitive in 2018, if they’re not contending by 2020, they’ll have bigger problems than Raisel Iglesias’ salary. In other words, Iglesias is “part of the next good Reds team,” whenever that is. Which means he stays.

Now, if the Reds follow my advice, the odds are that they’ll regret it. Iglesias could dominate the 2019 post-season. Boiled down, that’s the reason to keep him. (It’s not the regular season value he adds — dynamic Aroldis Chapman basically preserved the same percentage of leads as the frustrating Francisco Cordero. Even elite closers don’t win or lose division titles.) While Dick Williams and I imagine Iglesias pitching 7 scoreless innings in a World Series sweep, it’s much more probably that Iglesias gets hurt or just loses his effectiveness before he ever appears in a post-season game. But down that road lies baseball nihilism. The point of rebuilding is building – assembling the pieces necessary to win it all. And Iglesias is that. Unless he brings back two other key pieces, he should stay.

Bill: I’ll be definitive by saying “depends.” No one on a team that loses as many games over the past two season as the Reds have should be untouchable, but if you’re going to trade one of your best players you’d better be sure and get a valuable return. His value isn’t as high as it would be if he had stayed a starter, but he’s one of the best closers in the game and some teams value that quite highly. If trading him or packaging him would answer one of the questions this team has moving forward (playing time in the OF, 2B, SS, starting pitching), then absolutely. But without knowing the offer the answer is “depends”.

Steve: Yes, always be trading closers. Even the best closers are 2 WAR players. Period. That’s because they don’t pitch many innings and quite a few saves are protecting 2- or 3-run leads. If the Reds can find a trade partner that values Iglesias as more than that, as an elite player at a scarce position, they should do it. He’s also cost controlled through 2021. If Iglesias can help bring the Reds a young, 2+ WAR shortstop or centerfielder of the future, they should definitely do it. Either of those would be a big and necessary piece of rebuilding. The only case, as I see it, for holding off on trading Iglesias is for the Reds to include him as part of the package they use to acquire a big-time starting pitcher before the 2019 season. The downsides of waiting are the risk that Iglesias will suffer another shoulder or elbow injury, and that he would have one fewer controlled years, so less value.

24 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    Not unless it is in a deal for Christian Yelich.

    • Colorado Red

      I would also take Brandon Rodgers (Col).
      A potential all-star SS

    • Bill

      Better hurry if for Yelich the Cards are talk about him.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Much to the Old Cossack’s chagrin, I can see the Birds making the FIsh an offer they can’t refuse in a Stanton/Yelich package. It will be VERY difficult to unload Stanton’s contract without some significant monetary concessions by the Fish and they are on record as not WANTING to trade Yelich. By packaging Stanton and Yelich, the prospect return for the Fish would be significant and the willingness to absorb Stanton’s contract more palpable. There’s also the possible opt-out for Stanton to allow the team to avoid the full impact of the contract.

      • WVRedlegs

        That would not be good for NL Central teams in particular and NL teams generally.

  2. Scott Carter

    I agree that everyone is a candidate to be traded. However I don’t think there is a trade out there for every player that makes sense. There was not a trade for Cozart last year, , I don’t think anyone could offer enough value to the Reds that would make sense to trade Votto. If the night deal came along I would trade Iglesias, but that better bring back BIG value.

  3. hawkeyeredsfan

    Everyone on this Reds team is available for the right return.

  4. Hotto4Votto

    If the Reds offer Iglesias for Derek Fisher and one of Forrest Whitley or Franklin Perez of the Astros, who do you think says no? The Astros certainly could have used more help in their bullpen last year. Iglesias is a guy they can slot in and be a steady presence at the back end of their bullpen throughout their current competitive window. He’s also going to be relatively affordable as high end closers go. They also keep their top prospect Kyle Tucker.

    The Reds could slot Fisher into CF where his combination of power/speed would play well and add a potential rotation piece for their next wave of starting pitching prospects.

    • Sliotar

      I think you are on the right track, Hotto. Playoff teams could/would possibly meet Reds asking price.

      Houston…Colorado has Holland now declaring free agency….maybe the Cubs don’t try and re-sign Wade Davis.

      To make it workable both ways, the Reds would likely have to take back pieces that blossom in 2019/2020…similar to the package the A’s received for Sonny Gray.

      Reds need to beef up the offer, add a bunch with Iglesias to get into Yelich sweepstakes. Marlins are rebuilding, and don’t have any parking around their home stadium. That’s not a recipe to pay a premium for a reliever of Cuban descent as some sort of attendance “draw.”

      • Colorado Red

        Brendan Rodgers for Iggy might work. May need a bit more from the Rockies.
        He would take care of the SS for years to come.

  5. CI3J

    I’m of two minds about trading Iggy. On one hand, we all remember the not-too-distant past where the bullpen was leaking runs like the like a screen door on a submarine, and having someone like Iggy definitely addresses that. However, if Iggy is only going to be used as a “closer”, that is, coming in to protect 1-3 run leads in the 9th inning, then they should definitely trade him for the right offer.

    If the Reds had a more progressive manager, someone who would use Iggy in high leverage situations and for more than an inning at a time, I think Iggy would be much more valuable to the team going forward. Still tradable, but I’d be much more reluctant in that case.

  6. scottya


    We can fill one of our needs long term: SS, CF and Starting pitching by trading him alone. Go after Victor Robles!

  7. Old-school

    I would not trade him this offseason. I don’t see him fetching 2 elite players. However, he has the potential to have a dominant 2018 season and be an All star. If Iglesias can do that in 2018, he would be an ideal trade deadline candidate for a big market team fighting to win …..say the Nationals or dodgers or Yankees …or the Astros who want to repeat. The Reds have 5 top prospects in MLB per the MLB website list in Senzel #8. Greene #17 Trammell #67 Mahle #77 and Winker #99.

    If the reds could trade Iglesias for 2 more on that list….preferably in AA or above….one elite pitcher and one elite cf or SS…then yes.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The Astros may be very open to such a trade considering the poor performance of Giles in the post-season.

  8. TR

    If the offer is a good one and makes sense for what the FO has in mind for 2018, I would trade anyone on the roster.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    As long as Price is managing the team, I agree with Steve that Iggy will have very limited value for the Reds since he will be a closer and subject to closer rules and his real value would be in a post season role. Without a real contributing SS and CF, the Reds will not make a playoff run in 2018 so Iggy would be wasted in 2018.

    There are multiple playoff contenders for 2018 in need of a shutdown closer capable of pitching multiple innings in high leverage situations. If the drop-dead deal for Iggy materializes during the off-season, take it. If not, try again at the 2018 trade deadline. Keep in mind, that Iggy is one pitch away from having zero trade value.

    The trade scenarios proffered above are the types of trades needed to justify a trade for Iggy. My personal preference would be to grab Yelich is possible, but as Sliotar observed above, the Fish may be reluctant to trade Yelich unless it’s necessary to reach their $90MM budget goal for 2018.

    The conundrum for the Reds is that trading Iggy might put them into playoff contention for 2018 when they could most use Iggy.

  10. Kap

    The Reds don’t have to trade him. Only way is if a top 20 prospect heads our way in the deal plus some more. Victor Robles, Brendan Rodgers, or maybe even nick gordon would have to be the center piece

  11. Michael B. Green

    Iglesias could close out games for a contending Reds team in 2019 and beyond. That makes him tough to trade. However, if you could land a top prospect that is close to playing everyday, you would have to listen. I looked at closers with a similar WAR 2-3 years ago, and most are still coveted names other than Papelbon. Tough call.

  12. Ed Koverman

    The last time the reds traded a shut down closer we got nothing in return

    • Michael E

      …and then the Yankees got a mint a few months later for same product…Reds ownership was schooled as I am all but certain Castellini told Jocketty to “dump” Chapman for anything he could get. Jockettty was to blame as well for doing it, but a cowardly owner that “feared” a fan or two might be upset about a domestic violence Chapman was the real force behind our Reds getting fleeced.

  13. Sandman

    Nope! It would have to be a knock down offer. Several top prospects and healthy ones at that (no injury history).

  14. Michael E

    ABSOLUTELY! Trade him post-haste. This assumes that we get a couple of top 100 prospects (say another team’s #1, #3 and #10 prospect). If we get a “Chapman fleecing” full of spare parts and 25 year olds in AA, forget it.

  15. lwblogger2

    It’s all about the return and the competitive window. When are the Reds going to actually try to win? When would any players received be ready to make a contribution towards winning at the MLB level? If those match up, you go for it. If not, you keep him.

  16. cfd3000

    This is doubly hypothetical. Without knowing the other half of the trade, or who else might be packaged with Iglesias, there’s no meaningful way to respond. Should he be available? I think yes. Should he be traded? That definitely depends. The only player in the Reds system that (in my own fantasy GM world) is not available is Votto, and that’s as much for sentimental / Reds fan reasons as baseball ones. But since it’s all hypothetical I can allow that luxury. If Iggy isn’t available – for the right return – then Dick Williams isn’t doing his job in full. But the real question isn’t would I consider trading Iglesis, but would Mr. Williams. I’m confident he would.