DECEMBER 21: Washington has announced the signing.
DECEMBER 14: The Nationals are set to re-sign free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year deal, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports in a tweet. The deal is pending a physical. Kintzler acknowledged that he’ll be returning to D.C. in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link).
Contract details are still coming in, and they paint a somewhat complicated picture. The deal guarantees Kintzler $10MM over a two-year term, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports (Twitter link), and could reach $16MM in value. But the way it operates is through competing 2019 options, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (Twitter link), Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com, and Rosenthal (via Twitter) explain. Kintzler will receive a $5MM salary for the upcoming season. The Nationals can elect to exercise a $10MM club option for the 2019 campaign. If that is declined, then Kintzler will get to decide between a $5MM player option and a return to the open market. At this point it is not clear whether the extra $1MM of possible contract value comes from, but it could be an escalator or incentive bonus of some kind.
Kintzler, 33, pitched 26 innings for the Nationals last season after being acquired from the Twins in exchange for Tyler Watson and $500K in international bonus pool money. The righty posted a 3.46 ERA in Washington, chipping in a save for the club.
The Brewers picked Kintzler with the number 1,182 pick in the 2004 draft (40th round). After two seasons in the low minors and a year away from the sport in 2006, he eventually ended up playing independent ball until Milwaukee offered him a new minor league contract in 2009. Kintzler climbed quickly through the ranks this time and made his MLB debut the following year. He pitched well out of the Brewers’ bullpen from his sophomore season on; his ERA with the club never climbed above 3.78 from 2011-2014.
After an injury ended his 2015 season, Kintzler was forced to settle for a minor league deal with the Twins the following winter. He became the team’s closer almost immediately and has posted impressive results ever since.
Kintzler is a fascinating case study; the right-hander has vastly outperformed his ERA estimators over the past two seasons. Furthermore, across 2016-2017 he has the 14th-highest ground ball rate among qualified relievers, and the second-lowest strikeout rate. It’s clear Kintzler’s success is built upon an ability to limit hard contact while generating ground balls. He’ll slot in behind Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, reuniting the Nats’ late-inning crew from last year’s playoff run.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
It’s 1:41 AM at the winter meetings, does anyone ever sleep?
This is the Catalina Wine Mixer of baseball! Let them party.
You mean the F’n Catalina Wine Mixer!
Well NO.. It’s the winter meetings, and late at night is usually when trades get done.
Hope neither side regrets it in the morning 🙂
love this move…now if we could only lock Bryce up long term this week would be great winter meetings
I still had hopes he’d come back to the twins. Great setup guy… and can handle the closer role. He rolls like rollie- always keeping the ball dropping and sinking.
Dang! Good signing!
With the going rate of relievers, I thought for sure he’d get around what Nicasio got.
They’ve got a really good late inning trio. Kintzler, Madson, and Doolittle.
As a Brewers fan after each FA reliever signing I get increasingly frustrated. I get Stearns not wanting to ‘overpay’ for relievers but the market has been set. If you want a decent late inning arm you’re going to have to pay the 2yr/16-20M type deal. The brewers have a clear need for at least 2 bullpen arms as well as the money to get it done. I really hope Stearns isn’t holding out and is going to pull one of those Feliz late adds that he did last year. I can’t remember the last time the Brewers had a pen. This is the reason why
There are still plenty of top notch and lower level guys out there. I’d imagine you make a run at Davis, Albers, Clippard. I mean if you get one or two lower level guys and one of them I think that’ll be a good enough haul. Holland looks like he’s going to Colorado, but there is still a chance on him as well.
Not specific to Kintzler, but the Boston Red Sox know it’s the off-season, right? The Sox know they, like the other 29 teams, are allowed to sign free agents? Whenever you’re ready, Boston.
Gotta figure JDM and Hosmer first
dynamite drop in monty
Boras clients always sign late. Sox really have no hugely pressing needs that cannot wait until the market settles a bit. Making moves just to make moves [Crawford much?] is unwise.
Also, besides the relief market and the NYY drama, Kinsler/Piscotty deals, there hasn’t been much movement for FAs or offense in general.
Don’t forget the Jeter sell off for middle of the road prospects. If I’m any team, i go after Straily, Bour, and Realmuto. Yelich is great, but these other guys seam cheaper and can be an asset to competing teams.
No “pressing needs?” Little league teams hit more home runs than the Sox. Yanks just picked up the home run leader from last year to pair with that guy called Aaron Judge. Gary Sanchez is a problem, too. The Yanks have a better team, better farm system, and more payroll flexibility. The Sox have numerous “pressing needs.”
Padres drafted Kintzler in 2004
Seems like a good deal for the Nats. $5-$8M/yr seems pretty low compared to some of the other contracts being signed for lesser talent.