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Reds sign Raisel Iglesias to 3-year deal

Cincinnati’s young closer earns raise to avoid arbitration years.

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds have agreed to a new three-year contract with star closed Raisel Iglesias, the team announced.

The total value of Iglesias’ new deal is $24.125 million, a source told Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. More importantly, the two sides will not have to go through arbitration at all over the next three seasons, something that he could have opted into had he still been on his previous seven-year contract that he signed back in 2014.

Iglesias, who will still be eligible for free agency after the 2021 season, is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he converted a career-high 30 saves in 34 opportunities while posting a 2.38 ERA and 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 72 innings pitched across 66 appearances. In four seasons for Cincinnati, the 28-year-old right-hander has produced a 2.97 ERA and 64 saves in 72 chances (89 percent). In the last three seasons, Iglesias has made 24 saves in which he has pitched more than one inning, which is the most by any reliever in the majors.

Though he has been effective as a closer, Iglesias could see his role be expanded next season, Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams told Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Iglesias first came to the majors as a starter, but his ability to pitch multiple innings may make Reds new pitching coach Derek Johnson try to use Iglesias like he did with Josh Hader last year while with the Brewers or evolve into relievers like Andrew Miller who can work one or more innings on a consistent basis and in high-pressured situations.