The Phillies have agreed to a minor league pact with free-agent righty Brandon Kintzler, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports (Twitter links). The veteran reliever had a big league offer to return to the Marlins, Rogers adds, but he opted for a non-guaranteed deal with the Phillies that offers more earning potential if he makes the club: a $3MM base salary plus additional incentives. Kintzler is represented by agent Kevin Kohler.
Based on his track record and the general state of disrepair in which the Phillies’ bullpen resided over the past couple seasons, Kintzler would seem to have a good chance at cracking the roster and securing that $3MM base. The 36-year-old sinker specialist has pitched to a 2.55 ERA over the past two seasons between the Cubs and Marlins, and he’s notched a 3.15 mark or lower in four of the past five years. In that half-decade span, Kintzler has a 3.26 ERA and 3.67 SIERA with a sub-par 16.2 percent strikeout rate but an excellent 6.3 percent walk rate and similarly strong 55.4 percent grounder rate.
Kintzler will add to a late-inning relief mix that has been quickly overhauled since Dave Dombrowski was named president of baseball operations in Philadelphia. Righty Hector Neris, the team’s most frequent closer in recent years, is back for the 2021 season, but Dombrowski has added hard-throwing lefty Jose Alvarado from the Rays, signed Archie Bradley and now inked Kintzler.
If Kintzler does indeed make the club, he’ll push the Phillies north of $201MM in luxury-tax obligations. That doesn’t leave too much room for additional spending — assuming owner John Middleton aims to keep his club south of that mark — but it could leave the door open for some additional low-cost signings and/or non-roster invitees between now and Opening Day. Dombrowski has mentioned multiple times that he hopes to stockpile as much pitching depth as possible after last year’s truncated 2020 season shortened every MLB pitcher’s workload.
how the hell did this guy not get a major league deal??
2.22 era 2021, and a career around 3.
Good signing by the Phillies. The bullpen is getting better.
Yes, if the Phillies finish this year in 3rd place in the NL East then they had a good season.
and if they finish higher than 3rd, it would be even better, right?
tom brunanskys black sock
Teams have grown tired of his macho head games.
I was thinking the same thing, 12 saves and an ERA in the two’s!
Not great ERA estimators, not many strikeouts, doesn’t have elite control. Teams pay for what you’re projected to do. Not what you’ve done.
he will do well in Philly given hes more of a ground ball pitcher.
***correction above. 2020 not 2021
Wrong. Teams pay for what the market value is for a player’s service, not what they’re projected to do, and a large chunk of that market value comes from past performance.
This isn’t exclusive to free agency, either. Arbitration is literally only based on past performance.
Teams take what you’re projected to do into great consideration nowadays. They’ve learned from the Albert Pujols contracts and Miguel Cabrera contracts. Not saying past performance isn’t considered, but what you could do in the future is a major part of it.
If teams have learned from Pujols and Cabrera,I can’t really tell.The Angels themselves doubled up on big long term dollars,for Trout and Rendon.Harper,Machado,Cole,Betts.Every one of those deals could be a Pujols/Cabrera deal,5 years from now.They’re all great players at the moment,but alot can change in half a decade.
Mlb1225 if they learned from the pujuols and Cabrera why did gerrit Cole get a contract into his late thirties? Why are machado, Harper and betts going to get paid like superstars into there 40’s? Have they become more selective in who they give these contracts to yes did they abandon this model absolutely not
same as Colome in that regard, and he got a solid guarantee on a Majors deal.
My guess is there is probably some sort of handshake agreement that he’ll make the team but minor league deal could help with 40 man roster. By the time the season starts could they could add players to 60 day il or have a better idea of who to dfa if they need to.
is there a max value for a retention bonus?
It would be shocking if he didn’t make the club. At this point, minor league deals to effective veterans with Spring Training invites are about managing the 40-man roster.
Phillies bullpen was terrible so outside of having horrific springs (or getting injured) i think both Kintzler and Hector Rondon break camp with the teams
MillerPark is correct. Wonder if any non-contender offered him a major league deal and he decided on a deal with a possible division contender.
Down with OBP
I mean, if you read the post, you see he had major league offers but for less money. He’s betting he won’t be injured during spring training. It’s not like the Phillies bullpen is an obstacle for him to make the team.
Post wasn’t complete when we started commenting. But thanks.
how the hell did this guy not get a major league deal??
14/11 K/W is about as bad as it gets. Looks like they are willing to pay him the going rate, but has to prove he can still throw strikes.
Exactly. Modern front offices aren’t evaluating players based on old-school stats like ERA. That 14/11 K/W ratio is horrendous, although it was a small sample and he was much better in 2019. But when you’re a pitch-to-contact control guy, your performance can fall off quickly.
48K to 13BB 1 year earlier, a non-pandemic year.
He should help
I’m ok with this.
This has a chance to be a solid signing for Phillies.
if he’s even slightly below his career average production he could be a steal at that price. assuming he doesnt get Liriano’ed its a huge get.
Who in the world would rather play in Philadelphia instead of Miami?
Especially bullpen pitchers lol. Maybe he loves cheese steaks idk
Quiet down bub
people who dont like hurricanes
Me. Miami is the most livable city in Florida, but it’s still Florida.
Someone who wants to play in front of more than 30 fans.
just about any player
Only about 95% of the MLB. Miami is nice but Philly is also an awesome and underrated city. Also, some people actually like seasons. Players also like money and the Phillies have a lot more of that than the Marlins.
I think he’s a little ticked off that Miami didn’t pick up the option, so he’d rather go elsewhere and prove them wrong. Especially if it’s in their division.
He was a poison in the clubhouse for the Nats. He wont be able to pitch many games. If they overuse him his arm will fall off
I hate to be the pooper that poops on parties, but Kintzler’s 2020 was NOT sustainable.
Look at the ERA estimators: While his ERA last year was 2.22, all of his ERA estimators were around 5 flat. 4.58 xERA, 5.10 SIERA, 5.00 FIP, and 4.98 xFIP. I know he’s a soft-tosser, and advanced stats have a grudge against those pitchers, but despite the low strikeout rate (understandable) his BB% doubled from the previous season, and reached the highest mark it ever has in his entire career at 10.9% (that’s excluding seasons where he only pitched 7 innings). He still sits in the higher 50% of the league in hard hit% despite being a soft-tosser, and he sits in the highest 80% of the league in EV as well. Those hard hit metrics can certainly explain why his HR/FB% also went up 50% from the 2019 season, jumping from 10.6% to 15% in 2020. That’s the 2nd highest total in his career, and it’s not a good sign for a career ground-ball pitcher,
This might be an over-pay, but if they can move him out of the closer role (which they will); I expect him to be…fine. Just fine.
Where in that very short post was there mention made of slotting him in the closer’s role?
I said nothing hinting at him being in the closer role. In fact, I explicitly said they *wouldn’t* put him in the closer role: “This might be an over-pay, but if they can move him out of the closer role (which they will); I expect him to be…fine. Just fine.”.
@Ranger29 Can he sustain an ERA under 7.00? If so he’s an improvement on the 2020 bullpen. They don’t need Kintzler to close. Bradley can handle that role.
Ducky Buckin Fent
That’s a rugged assessment, @Von.
I’m not a huge proponent of a sinker/slider guy as my closer. I’d rather have K’s. That’s an extremely generic take though. MLB front office’s routinely make the same choice.
As a reliable piece of your bullpen? Yeah, for sure. I’m starting to try & look at ‘pens like we do O-lines in football, uh? More as a unit than individuals.
Through a lens like that, Kinzler fits *a lot* of teams, man. There’d certainly be a role for him on the Yankees, for example.
Neris has been our closer the past few seasons and his best pitch is a sinker.
*Splitter. Neris throw a Split Finger fastball, not a sinker.
Like Spanky said, Neris throws a splitter not a sinker. Although both types of fastballs, a sinker gradually moves down, but a split-fingered fastball breaks down, and when its a good one, sort of falls off the table at the end right when it reaches the batter. When he’s throwing his good stuff, Neris’ splitter looks deceiving and really tough to hit.
When he’s on with it, it’s darn near unhittable, it just disappears. When he’s not on, it’s just like a bad sinker and nothing more than a BP fastball.
A minor league deal is an overpay?
He’s gonna *probably* make the club – don’t get me wrong – but it’ll be an over-pay.
Sinker-ball pitcher generally have lower K rates and often will outperform their peripherals. His career ERA is a half run lower than his FIP. I’d focus more on his career track record.
Ducky Buckin Fent
But, @Rangers29 addressed that somewhat. This is when it would be good to see if his velocity & spin rates were in line with previous seasons.
Was he really just his usual self & outperformed his peripherals? Or, was he actually really fortunate?
In the end, I like him in a lesser role than closing. I definitely think he can contribute. But I can see why this might be a really great deal or a complete waste of a few mil.
The Phillies are really thinning out the bottom of the relief pool.
I like it. I was disappointed that the Phillies did not sign him last off-season.
Amazing that DD and crew talked him into taking a minor league deal so they can figure out the bottom of the 40 man during camp. Smart move by both parties because there’s no way he doesn’t depart Florida without being on the major league roster.
Love it. Bullpen already looks so much better.
Good depth, but wouldn’t be to excited. He’s rlly old, Joe has to be smart and not over use him. He was also a poison in the club house with my Nats, thats why he was traded. None the less a good signing. Hopefully Schwarber takes him deep lol
@Luc I really don’t think you understand how horrific the Phillies bullpen was in 2020. With a mediocre bullpen, not only do the Phillies make the playoffs, but they compete with the Braves for the division. The Phillies have Bradley and Neris to close out games. Kintzler would be a solid late inning option. If he’s just 1/3 as good as he’s been the last few years, he’d be a big help.
I know how bad it was lol. Im just saying Kintzler will be more effective if he isnt overused.
What did he do in Washington that was so bad? He was an excellent teammate in Miami. I am legitimately asking BTW.
When we were losing in 2018 apparently there was a player in the clubhouse being bad. I don’t know what he did because Mike Rizzo didn’t go deep into but this is what a writer said, “Kintzler was shipped out because the Nationals believed he was responsible for anonymous reports that painted Washington’s clubhouse culture as iffy,” Barry Svrluga wrote. No one said anything specific but he was bad apparently
Yeah but you said it there yourself, he was reporting on it being a bad clubhouse. Everywhere else he has been he has been a great teammate. Sounds like it was just a bad year especially since the Nats were underachieverers until the second half of 2019.
A step in the right direction. When you are as bad as the Phillies’ BP, you need both talent AND depth.
Him and Harper are friends which is why he chose Philly. Sucks to lose him tho especially to a rival.
Solid move, even if this bullpen is average that is a huge improvement over last year and that alone could mean 8 to 10 more wins over a full season.
George hubschman, roto imbeciles
Brandon Kintzler inked a minor league deal with the Phillies who already have Archie Bradley and Hector Neris (and possibly Jose Alvarado) battling for space in the ninth inning. Supposedly he had a major league offer from the Marlins (and maybe others) but chose to go to the City of Brotherly Love because, as Gordon Gekko once said, “greed is good!” Kintzler saved 45 games for the Twins in 2016-2017 and is coming off 2 nice seasons (2019-’20) with the Cubs and Marlins. In 81 IP he had a 2.55/1.11 ERA/WHIP, 66 HA, 13 saves, and a 62/24 K/BB. He also pitched 3 scoreless innings in the postseason for Miami with a 5/0 K/BB. Reportedly, if Kintzler makes the team he will be gifted with $3M. While I think it’s a tad too rich for a guy with a 14/11 K/BB in 2020, Kintzler is a solid bullpen arm so this may have a way of working out. I’m surprised that other relievers who would fall into the same price range (or lower) like Jeremy Jeffress, Tony Watson, Sergio Romo, and Brandon Workman are still unemployed.
I’ve been waiting for them to sign Watson all offseason. Still hoping it happens. I’d take Romo for sure also.
I mean technically they could still sign Melancon to close, have Bradley in the 8th, Kintzler in the 7th. Flip Neris (or VV) elsewhere to free up money for Melancon and still have Alvarado, Romero, Brogdon, Hale as depth….. and pick up a Watson or Romo to upgrade from some of those guys.
It’s February 10th…….there are still dozens of free agents out there–thus, at this point, unemployed and not going to be collecting a check. There are going to be many more of these type signings in the next 10-15 days.
This bullpen is lights out better than last year and the year before..
The Phils pen last year was what nightmares are made from..it was that bad..
The Phillies score runs, lots of them..Now, the 7th, 8th and 9th innings are in much better hands…so many leads lost last year..Now, maybe, Hector Scare Us might be a 7th inning guy which would be okay with me…
Any update on Seranthony? Will he pitch this year?
Couldn’t agree more. This BP is far and away better. I think some people forget that Arano, Dominguez, and Robertson (3 of their best relievers) were all hurt.
From everything that I’ve read, this season is most likely a loss for him since he waited so long to undergo TJ surgery. I’d have to check, but I believe he had the surgery finally in the fall, sometime around October I believe.
Yes Sir! I looked it up. Dominguez underwent TJ surgery on July 30, 2020. So he could conceivably make his way back during the second half. Probably won’t be close to 100% until 2022 though.
Man what a bummer that fiasco was. 2 seasons wasted on bad medical advice.
True. I believe part of the holdup also was that he had gone back to the DR after the injury and due to COVID, his surgery was pushed back a couple months. Still, they should’ve discussed surgery with him back in 2019 when the initial injury occurred. Then, as you stated, they wouldn’t have wasted 2 years of this young man’s career.
I always wonder when a player stalls till it’s late and then gets the surgery (just fill in the injury) and almost always sets them back..Von, I also wonder if it’s bad advise or it has been mentioned, the pandemic.
I know with COVID it was two-fold. One for getting him to the US from the DR due to travel restrictions and second, getting him scheduled for the surgery since it is an “elective” surgery.
Phils bullpen was historically terrible last year, as we all know very well, so easy to say signing Kintzler is an upgrade. Now pickup Trevor Rosenthal on a minor league deal, and trade for either Sonny Gray or German Marquez.
They have no one to trade. Maybe you could for gray
Great deal for the Phils. They needed at least one solid bullpen arm. The fact that he gets a lot of ground balls is important in that ballpark.
Wouldn’t be surprised at all if one of Kintzler or Rondon contribute significant innings to the Phillies when all they had to do was give out an NRI.
Same, those two fellows were a pretty good NRI find!
This is a brilliant move by the Phillies in my opinion. They get a proven back end bullpen piece with closing experience. They preserve a 40-man roster spot for now, while allowing Kintzler to audition for a role on the staff before guaranteeing his salary. Great move as the bullpen is starting to come together.
Makes me think Miami has 2 million somewhere to add another bullpen arm lmao
Who should be the closer opening day if they all fair the same in spring training?
I’d give Bradley the job if I was the skipper. I feel like if I was a Phillies fan Hector Nerris would give me a heart attack every time he came in for a save. I feel like I’d use Kintzler in the 6th or 7th innings n
I agree. Kintzler/Jo-Jo for the 6th and 7th, Neris/Alvarado 8th and Bradley in the 9th.
I like the Jo-Jo Romero kid. Hopefully he improves this year.
48K to 13BB 1 year earlier, a non-pandemic year.
He should help