Acquiring closer Brandon Kintzler from the Minnesota Twins would be such a Mike Rizzo move. While other teams consider meeting the steep return the Baltimore Orioles are seeking for Zack Britton, if the O’s will actually trade the left-hander, a trade for Kinzler would likely cost significantly less (in prospects and cashy-money), and would give Washington something close to the sort of three-headed bullpen monster Bryce Harper himself said he hoped the Nats could get.
While rumors overnight had the Nationals in the mix for Britton after another rumored target, Justin Wilson, was dealt to the Chicago Cubs, the latest chatter this afternoon has the Nats checking in on Kintzler:
Kintzler, 32, is set to become a free agent after this season, and he’s playing out a relatively modest 1-year/$2.95M deal he signed he signed with the Twins in January when the two sides avoided arbitration.
In 99 appearances over the last two seasons, he’s posted a 2.98 ERA, a 3.64 FIP, 19 walks and 62 Ks in 99 2⁄3 IP, with 45 saves over that stretch.
With the market for relievers as it is right now, of course, the reliever is drawing considerable interest as the non-waiver deadline approaches.
#Twins have fielded a lot of calls on Brandon Kintzler in the last 24 hours. He's a hot commodity.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 31, 2017
Multiple reports say the Nationals are still in the market for relief help, looking to bolster the relief corps even after acquiring Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the A’s.
Less-than-four-hours-to-deadline update 1) Multiple people say Nats still active on RPs right now. 2) Ninth is still, has been, a priority.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 31, 2017
Does Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo have another move coming to solidify the back end of what’s an improved but still not imposing bullpen? It’s a little over three hours from the non-waiver trade deadline so we should know soon.
As Rizzo has said, he’s been willing to pull the trigger before to get what the Nats need. Will he do it again?
Nationals in touch with Twins about Brandon Kintzler, according to person familiar with talks. They are not the only ones, of course.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 31, 2017