Skip to main content

When the Houston Astros signed former Philadelphia Phillies setup man and sometimes-closer Héctor Neris to a two-year, $17 million contract, it left the Phillies bullpen without a go-to option for closing out games.

The free-agent closer market is a narrow one so Philadelphia should find the best option and do everything they can to lock them in so the closer role is one less item on President of Baseball Operations Dombrowski's to-do list.

The Phillies' best option comes in former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Raisel Iglesias, who enters the free-agent market off of an impressive 2021 campaign where Iglesias shut the door on opposing teams 34 times, which was tied for the fifth-highest amount in the MLB, which helped him maintain a save percentage of 87% and an ERA of 2.57.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


Iglesias is the most comparable option to what Neris brought to the table, if not the same, even more than what Neris brought. When comparing the two, although Neris has one more year of experience over Iglesias, Iglesias averages 12 more saves, a lower ERA by .27 per season which would help with those long ninth innings that Neris became notorious for during his tenure as Philadelphia's closer.

SportTrac has Iglesias' estimated market value at $15.5 million which wouldn't place him outside of the Phillies' price range, so it's important for Dombrowski and Philadelphia's front office to give Iglesias a generous offer to ensure that he'll be wearing the red pinstripes next season.

If Iglesias does join the Phillies, he will have big shoes to fill as Neris leaves Philadelphia as the franchise's all-time strikeout leader for relief pitchers, as well as the eighth-highest saves leader in Philadelphia history.

However, if Iglesias continues his effort from 2021 into the upcoming season, he'll fit right in and provide what the bullpen needs the most, a reliable closer.

More From SI's Inside The Phillies:

Make sure to follow Inside the Phillies on Facebook and Twitter!