The Washington Nationals made a move just before the MLB Trade Deadline to help their bullpen.
According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, the Minnesota Twins have agreed to send pitcher Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals. In return, the Twins will receive left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson.
Watson was rising quickly through the ranks. He was 6-4 with the Hagerstown Suns. Janes says that his stock was rising.
The Nationals hope that Kintzler can bolster their bullpen as they hope to make a deep run in the playoffs. Washington currently sits in first comfortably in the National League East. They lead the Miami Marlins by an astounding 13 games, as of Monday.
Kintzler is having a breakout season in just his second year as a closer. He already has racked up 28 saves in Minnesota. He has 27 strikeouts compared to just 11 walks in 45.1 innings and has a 2.78 ERA. The last time his earned run average was that low was in 2013 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
This improvement earned Brandon Kintzler his first All-Star spot. The 32-year-old can bring some stability to a struggling Nationals bullpen. Washington’s bullpen has the second worst ERA in the major leagues with a 5.07 earned run average. The only team worse is the Detroit Tigers.
Kintzler will likely only be spending half a season in Washington. He is owed approximately $1 million for the rest of this season before becoming a free agent.
The Nationals were unwilling to part with top prospects for Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles.
The Nationals had a very successful summer in terms of trading. They picked up three veteran relievers to help their bullpen. Relief pitching is very important come postseason and this weakness could have held them back from reaching their full potential. However, Washington now looks primed for a deep run and a possible World Series birth.