In the latest MLB breaking news, former Cubs and Marlins ace reliever Brandon Kintzler has latched on to a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. According to Ken Rosenthal, Kintzler turned down an MLB offer from Miami in order to risk making more money.
MLB Breaking News: Why the MiLB Deal?
While I don’t know Brandon Kintzler personally, I have developed a friendship with his agent, Kevin Kohler. When Kohler and I talked last (about a month ago), Kintzler was getting some offers that he felt were too low. You have no idea what it costs these guys to play baseball, and for Kintzler, a certain number – which I cannot reveal – was rock-bottom. In fact, I didn’t know until it was explained to me. The overhead is nuts, and while MLB players are taxed differently, they are stripped of many deductions that the normal self-employed contractor would have access to.
Although not mentioned in Rosenthal’s tweet, this deal likely comes with an invite to Spring Training and MLB incentives if he makes the Opening Day squad; something Kintzler will be ready for. Kintzler likes one-year deals, as he feels it makes him focus more. With no second or third year attached, everything rides on his performance in the current season.
MLB Breaking News: Kintzler by the Numbers
After a rough patch during his partial season in Chicago (Cubs), Kintzler came out of the pen firing in 2019 to the tune of a 2.68 ERA in 62 appearances (57.0 innings pitched, 1.018 WHIP, 1 save). Undoubtedly their best reliever, you’d have thought Theo Epstein and Tom Ricketts would have gladly paid him for 2020, but that wasn’t the case. While I won’t discuss the offers he was getting, I can tell you that three million dollars bought him for the Marlins in 2020.
In Miami, his numbers were even better. Sporting a 2.22 ERA over 24.1 innings (24 appearances), Kintzler garnered 12 saves; but that still wasn’t good enough for a reasonable contract offer. As of now, it looks as though another former Cub, Anthony Bass may fill Kiintzler’s shoes in Miami.
Kintzler will undoubtedly excel in Spring Training, as he keeps himself ready and in shape. That will parlay itself into an MLB contract, allowing him to get a little closer to what he’s worth.
Take my word for it: Philly’s bullpen just got exponentially stronger.
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