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Cubs acquire reliever Brandon Kintzler from Nationals

Here’s the bullpen piece the team was seeking.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Even after the acquisition of Jesse Chavez, the Cubs were rumored to be in the market for further bullpen help. Just before the 3 p.m. CT non-waiver trading deadline Tuesday, they got the help they were seeking:

Brandon Kintzler has a 3.59 ERA and 1.242 WHIP in 45 appearances for the Nationals this season. He’s consistently had good low walk rates, which is something this team could sorely use. He was a closer for the Twins for a year and a half before his trade to the Nats last July, so he could conceivably fill in for Brandon Morrow if needed.

Kintzler turns 34 tomorrow. He’s got a little less than $2 million remaining on his 2018 contract, and the deal carries a $5 million player option for 2019, so the maximum salary hit to the Cubs is $7 million.

This deal is happening a bit too late for Kintzler to join the Cubs in Pittsburgh tonight, but I’d expect he’d be available for Wednesday’s game. There’s no word yet on who’s been dealt to Washington in this trade, nor who’d be coming off the 25-man (or 40-man) roster to make room.

This post will be updated with further information when it’s available.

UPDATE. Here’s who the Cubs are sending over for Kintzler:

Romero is 23 and has a 3.89 ERA and 1.295 WHIP in 32 appearances for Myrtle Beach this year. He seems a bit old for Advanced-A, and presuming this is the only return, it seems more like salary relief for the Nationals. The Cubs have to be very, very close to the luxury-tax limit for 2018.

UPDATE 2. Here’s the official announcement from the Cubs, along with the 40-man roster move needed. There will be a 25-man roster move needed before Kintzler is activated.


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