Hitting free agency is putting closer Brandon Kintzler on the shortlist of a few teams, especially the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies.
Both teams need some 9th inning help after losing some bullpen guys to free agency this month, not to mention not having too hot performances from their players in that position last season.
Kintzler, 33, played for the Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals in 2017, making the All-Star game for the first time. He posted a 3.03 ERA in 71.1 innings of work, finishing with 29 saves out of 35 opportunities. He had a slightly different role with the Nationals, and disappointed by giving up a 5.40 ERA through 3 innings in the playoffs. He did have a 0.900 WHIP in those 3 short appearances, but it’s probably not enough for the Nationals to try and hang on to him.
Kintzler isn’t a dream reliever. He doesn’t strike out batters a whole lot (5.3 per 9 innings over the last two seasons), but he does a good job of avoiding walks (2 per 9 batters last season) and produces a high ground ball ratio which has helped sustain his career, going on since 2010 when he made his debut for the Twins.
Kintzler made $2.9 million last season, and will probably be seeking a multiyear deal that pays that kind of money, possibly more. In 8 seasons, he has a 3.26 ERA through 306.2 innings of work, appearing in 298 games. He has a 1.246 WHIP and 2.77 K/BB ratio.