The Marlins have come to terms with free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler on a one-year deal.
Kintzler is a six-foot, 194 lb. right-handed reliever from Las Vegas, NV. Now 35-years-old, he was an American League All Star in 2017 while playing with the Minnesota Twins. That season, he held opponents to a 1.150 WHIP in 71 1/3 innings, with 39 strikeouts and only 16 bases on balls surrendered. He was 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA.
A 10-season major league veteran, Kintzler was a two-time 40th round choice in the annual MLB Amateur Entry Draft. The New York Yankees chose him in 2003, and the San Diego Padres in 2004. After signing with San Diego, he spent two seasons in the system before getting released. He didn’t reemerge in affiliated baseball until 2009, in the Milwaukee Brewers system. He made his major league debut with them in 2010.
Kintzler has put up a 20-20 career record with a 3.37 ERA over 424 1/3 innings. In 430 contests overall, all in relief, he’s struck out 299 batters and walked only 110 for a solid 2.3 BB/9. He joined the Twins in 2016 after six seasons for the Brewers. He was traded to the Washington Nationals at the 2017 trade deadline for Tyler Watson, then traded in turn a year later under similar circumstances to the Cubs for Jhon Romero.
According to MLB Statcast, Kintzler is reliant on a four-pitch mix. He leans heavily on his sinker, throwing it 68.5 percent of the time. His repertoire is filled out by a changeup (17.5 percent), a slider (10.2 percent), and a four-seam-fastball (3.7 percent).
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One possible warning bell seems to be Kintzler’s recent propensity to get hit hard. He ranked in the bottom eight percent of baseball last season with a 42 percent “hard hit” rate.
Despite Kintzler’s age, his 2019 campaign counted as the best of his career, according to baseball-reference’s WAR figure of 1.7. He was 3-3 with a 2.68 ERA and 48 K’s in 57 innings, with a career-best 1.018 WHIP.
The move seems to eliminate the possibility of the Marlins continuing to pursue Kintzler’s fellow former-Chicago Cubs reliever, Pedro Strop.
Before anything becomes official, the Marlins will need to make a corresponding roster move, likely from their relief-pitching corps.
Whatever the case, make sure you keep checking here for all the latest Marlins developments.