A report came out yesterday that the Chicago Cubs are sniffing around free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler. Should the Milwaukee Brewers get in on the bidding for the righty reliever?
Brandon Kintzler started the 2017 season as the closer for the Minnesota Twins. However, he was shipped to Washington before the trade deadline and assumed a set-up role. Based on the results, Kintzler is equally capable of performing well in both roles.
How did 2017 go for Kintzler?
Well, he made his first All-Star Game appearance as the Twins closer, and then spent the second half of the season setting up whoever the Nationals closer was. He tossed 71 1/3 innings between the two teams and posted a 3.03 ERA. He struck out 39 and walked only 16.
Why is that name familiar to Milwaukee Brewers fans?
After spending a couple seasons in the independent Northern League, Kintzler spent 2009 to 2015 in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. He arrived at the Major League level in 2010, and left as a free agent in 2015.
What kind of deal would he sign?
Kintzler is sure to get a multi-year deal in the $6 million to $7.5 million dollar range, depending on how crazy the bidding gets. Michael Dunn and Junichi Tazawa managed to secure deals in that range last season. There’s no reason to think that Kintzler can’t get a similar deal.
Could he close for the Cubs?
It’s possible, but probably not. The Cubs have shown a proclivity for elite closers to nail down victories in the past few seasons. The dealt for Aroldis Chapman at the deadline in 2016, and traded for Wade Davis last off season. Even if they add Kintzler, they’ll continue to search for a power arm for the ninth inning. Whether that means a reunion with Davis or a deal for another closer remains to be seen.
Whether Kintzler signs in Chicago or Milwaukee, he’s much better as a bridge to a closer than the actual closer.
Brandon Kintzler could make sense as a bridge to Milwaukee Brewers closer Corey Knebel. The Brewers have money to spend, and a reunion with Kintzler is a possibility. However, the price and the years need to be right for both sides. Signing relievers is always a risky proposition. Signing relievers to multi-year deals is even more risky. The Brewers need to tread carefully, even with a known commodity like Kintzler.