The Philadelphia Phillies have signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Kintzler to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. If he wins a spot on the MLB roster, Kintzler will make $3 million plus incentives, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.
Kintzler, 36, spent the 2020 season in the back end of the Miami Marlins bullpen. He posted a 2.22 ERA and 5.00 FIP in 24 1/3 innings pitched. Kintzler relies heavily on his sinker that he used 74.3% of the time last season. He ranked seventh in groundballs hit among National League relievers.
Rosenthal also mentions that Bryce Harper, Kintzler’s former teammate for two seasons with the Washington Nationals, had a hand in getting the deal done. Harper reportedly “pushed for the deal to happen.” Both Kintzler and Harper are natives of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kintzler was also offered a major-league deal with the Marlins worth $2 million, but he reportedly turned it down for an opportunity to make more money in Philadelphia.
Considering his experience closing out games, Kintzler’s chances of making the big-league roster should be relatively high. In 2020, Kintzler ranked second in the NL in saves (12) behind Josh Hader (13).
He’ll be entering his 12th season as a major leaguer. He previously pitched for the Brewers, Twins, Cubs, Nationals and Marlins.
You always know it’s good when a friend of the face of the franchise joins the team. Especially when that face of the franchise is Bryce Harper.