Raisel Iglesias
Iglesias with the Los Angeles Angels in 2021
Atlanta Braves – No. 26
Born: (1990-01-04) January 4, 1990 (age 34)
Isla de la Juventud, Cuba
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 12, 2015, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
(through 2023 season)
Win–loss record32–47
Earned run average2.97
Career highlights and awards
Men's baseball
Representing  Cuba
World Port Tournament
Gold medal – first place 2013 Rotterdam Team

Raisel Iglesias (born January 4, 1990) is a Cuban professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Angels. He signed with the Reds as an international free agent in 2014 after defecting from Cuba.


Cuban career

Iglesias played for the Piratas de Isla de la Juventud in the Cuban National Series, and played for the Cuban national baseball team, appearing in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and 2013 World Port Tournament.[1]

In September 2013, Iglesias attempted to defect from Cuba.[2] He hid in the mountains of Isla de la Juventud, but was caught and was detained.[3][4] In November of that same year, Iglesias successfully defected from Cuba.[5] He established his residency in Haiti before holding an open tryout in Mexico in December 2013.[6]

Cincinnati Reds

On June 27, 2014, Iglesias signed with the Cincinnati Reds, to a seven-year contract worth $27 million.[7] The Reds formally added him to their 40-man roster when he arrived in the United States on August 12.[8]

In spring training in 2015, the Reds evaluated Iglesias as a starting pitcher.[9] He started the season in the Reds' Opening Day starting rotation, and made his MLB debut on April 12.[10] He had a couple of stints on the disabled list, limiting him to just 18 games, 16 of them starts. His record was 3–7 with 104 strikeouts. The following season, after beginning the season in the rotation, Iglesias was moved to the bullpen. Iglesias served as setup man and closer for the Reds, finishing with six saves in 37 games. In 2019, Iglesias started the season as the Reds closer and ended the year with career-highs in saves (34) and appearances (68) and a 4.16 ERA.[11] On August 8, 2020, Iglesias earned his 100th MLB career save against the Brewers.[12] In 2020, Iglesias pitched to a 4–3 record and 2.74 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 23.0 innings of work.[13]

Los Angeles Angels

On December 7, 2020, Iglesias was traded to the Angels for Noé Ramirez and Leo Rivas.[14] With the Angels, Iglesias was named American League Reliever of the Month for July 2021.[15] Iglesias finished the 2021 season with a 2.57 ERA, 103 strikeouts and 34 saves. The 34 saves tied his career high and he came up one strikeout short of tying his career high at 104.

On December 1, 2021, Iglesias re-signed with the Angels on a four-year, $58 million contract.[16]

On June 26, 2022, after the brawl between the Angels and the Seattle Mariners, Iglesias threw a tub of sunflower seeds and a bucket of gum onto the infield. This was also the first ejection of his career.[17]

Atlanta Braves

The Angels traded Iglesias to the Atlanta Braves for Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson on August 2, 2022.[18][19][20]

Personal life

Iglesias had a son during the 2018 season.[21][22][23]


  1. ^ Badler, Ben (November 19, 2013). "Righthander Raisel Iglesias Leaves Cuba". Baseball America. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Acosta, Nelson (September 27, 2013). "Young Cuban baseball pitcher believed to have left the island". Reuters. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "Raicel Iglesias, detenido en la Isla de la Juventud por intentar abandonar el país" (in Spanish). Diario de Cuba. September 28, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "Cuba allows athletes to go pro abroad". Cuba Standard. September 27, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  5. ^ Sheldon, Mark; Sanchez, Jesse (June 27, 2014). "Reds sign Cuban pitcher Iglesias to seven-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  6. ^ Fox Sports (March 20, 2015). "Cincinnati Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias, a Cuban defector, signed after scout Mark Snipp misses wedding anniversary, rewards Snipp, Walt Jocketty and entire organization in spring training with maturity, knowledge, skills; team will make him starter to open season". FOX Sports. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Reds sign Cuban RHP Iglesias to contract". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 27, 2014. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Sheldon, Mark (August 12, 2014). "Iglesias excited to be on fast track to Reds". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  9. ^ "Cingrani to bullpen; Iglesias in the rotation". Cincinnati.com. March 16, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Raisel Iglesias to make Reds debut Sunday". Cincinnati.com. April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  11. ^ "Raisel Iglesias eyeing improvement in 2020". MLB.com.
  12. ^ Mark Sheldon (August 9, 2020). "For Suárez, it's simply 'keep swinging'". MLB.com. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  13. ^ "Angels acquire proven closer Raisel Iglesias from the Reds - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2020.
  14. ^ Gonzalez, Alden (December 7, 2020). "Los Angeles Angels get closer Raisel Iglesias from Cincinnati Reds". ESPN. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  15. ^ "McGee, Iglesias are Relievers of the Month". MLB.com (Press release). August 3, 2021. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  16. ^ Bollinger, Rhett (December 1, 2021). "Angels make 4-year deal with Iglesias official". MLB.com. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  17. ^ "Mariners-Angels game halted for 18 minutes after mass brawl and ejections". the Guardian. Associated Press. June 26, 2022. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  18. ^ "Atlanta Braves beef up bullpen, acquire closer Raisel Iglesias from Los Angeles Angels". ESPN.com. August 2, 2022. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  19. ^ Bowman, Mark (August 2, 2022). "Braves trade for Iglesias to bolster 'pen". MLB.com. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  20. ^ Toscano, Justin (August 2, 2022). "Braves acquire veteran reliever Raisel Iglesias from Angels". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 24, 2022.
  21. ^ "McCoy: Power outage for Reds offense as Cardinals take game, series".
  22. ^ "Reds' Raisel Iglesias activated off paternity leave". April 2018.
  23. ^ "Iglesias back, but 'pen roles yet to be defined". MLB.com.