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Twins Trade Kintzler To Nationals

Brandon Kintzler was signed to a minor league deal, became a closer, became an All-Star, and now the Twins have traded him to the Washington Nationals.

In return, the Twins will receive 20-year-old left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson. Watson is a late-teens prospect, depending upon which site you look at. The Twins also received $500,000 in International signing bonus money in the deal.
Image courtesy of Troy Taormina, USA Today
Brandon Kintzler's baseball story is a great one. He spent time with the St. Paul Saints. He was signed by the Brewers where he spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues. A knee injury got him removed from the 40-man roster, and he became a free agent.

Terry Ryan and the Twins quickly swooped in and signed him to a minor league deal. He spent about a month in Rochester before coming up to the Twins.

Since then, he has been a remarkably consistent big league pitcher. In 54 games last year for the Twins, he posted a 3.15 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP. He became the team's closer and recorded 17 saves.

This year, he has a 2.78 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He's recorded 28 saves and leads the league in games finished.

But he is a free agent at the end of the season, so now that the Twins have decided to be a seller, he becomes an obvious choice. Because of that, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have been fielding a lot of calls regarding their closer.

Rumors started swirling late on Monday morning, but the team practiced patience and the deal was consummated moments before (and announced minutes after) Monday's 3:00 deadline..

Tyler Watson is a 6-5, 200 pound kid who is 6-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) in Hagerstown, the Low A affiliate of the Nationals. In 93 innings he has 24 walks and 98 strikeouts. Most indicate that his prospect status has risen. He's a low-90s guy now, but is projectable, so he could add more velocity as he grows. He's also got a good curveball.

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Best wishes to Brandon- a great story, and I wish him all the best.  Here's to working hard!


PS, I hope I get to see you pitch in the Series this fall.

    • glunn, DJSim22, Oldgoat_MN and 9 others like this
Winston Smith
Jul 31 2017 02:15 PM

Tyler Watson.


Tyler Watson.

Elementary, my dear Winston.

    • snepp, Oldgoat_MN, HitInAPinch and 1 other like this

Certainly have an opportunity to get him back in the off season as he is a free agent.He was very solid in a Twins uniform.Good luck Brandon!Great example of not giving up and continuing to put in the work.

    • glunn, bluechipper, sploorp and 3 others like this

Somebody tell me how to feel about the return

    • snepp, 70charger, Hosken Bombo Disco and 2 others like this

Best wishes to Brandon Kintzler... Thanks for the saves! 

    • snepp, Danchat, bluechipper and 3 others like this


Somebody tell me how to feel about the return


    • Jerr, big dog, d-mac and 1 other like this



Eh.Good enough for a guy that was pitching independent ball 2 years ago.

    • luckylager and brvama like this

Here's what Chelsea James, The Nationals' beat reporter, said

Nats sending lefty Tyler Watson, lefty from Hagerstown, to Minnesota. Was 6-4 with a 4.35 this year, but rising fast.

Sounds a bit like a Tyler we already have in low-A, but you can never have enough spare Tylers.

    • glunn, snepp, Oldgoat_MN and 6 others like this
Finally a FO that is decisive and realistic. Maybe I'm wrong but the past guy would have sat on Kintzler and crossed his fingers.
    • alarp33, Ben B, Hosken Bombo Disco and 4 others like this

Twins also got international bonus money in the deal.



    • snepp, Bob Sacamento, sploorp and 3 others like this

My thoughts are here:




the addition of international money is great.

    • glunn, beckmt, Oldgoat_MN and 3 others like this
Jul 31 2017 02:34 PM


Somebody tell me how to feel about the return


Watson? Or the odds of Kintzler's return?


Better than zero for both.

    • Mike Sixel, beckmt, KidBro and 1 other like this
I kind of like how these guys operate, Seth.
    • Ben B, beckmt, sploorp and 2 others like this


Finally a FO that is decisive and realistic. Maybe I'm wrong but the past guy would have sat on Kintzler and crossed his fingers.

The last guy made a lot of these trades, too.

    • diehardtwinsfan, howieramone2 and Broker like this

Pleasantly surprised to get that some bonus $$ as well. Watson was about the type of prospect one should expect back for Kintzler. Appears to have some upside yet.

    • alarp33, 70charger, Bob Sacamento and 5 others like this

The ERA is misleading. Good K and BB numbers. 98 K and 24 BB in 93 innings, and just turned 20 two months ago. Also scouting reports seem to say his frame is projectable (6 foot 5, 200 lbs) even though his FB is 89-90 now.

    • sploorp, vessey and MN_ExPat like this


Somebody tell me how to feel about the return


I vote for outrage. I expect every subsequent post from you about this topic to be in all caps.

    • Blake, Mike Sixel, pbrezeasap and 10 others like this
Winston Smith
Jul 31 2017 02:38 PM

The ability to spend more Int money is a nice lottery pick.

    • Oldgoat_MN and sploorp like this


Somebody tell me how to feel about the return

It's a solid trade. If it all works out, Watson could be a back end starter under team control for six years. It's more likely that he's a LH reliever but he has years to work this out. Realistically, the most likely scenario is that he washes out before AAA but he's another good lotto ticket. Most will fail but some will make it.

    • Oldgoat_MN and howieramone2 like this


Finally a FO that is decisive and realistic. Maybe I'm wrong but the past guy would have sat on Kintzler and crossed his fingers.

...and demanded a "hometown discount" for another contract!

    • Sweetwater and sploorp like this
Brock Beauchamp
Jul 31 2017 02:39 PM

Okay, I was on board with this trade as a player-for-player swap.


And then I saw the $500,000 (!) of international cap space thrown in.


Shrewd. Smart. I like the way this front office operates.

    • Steve Lein, glunn, diehardtwinsfan and 23 others like this

Nice little return along with the international money.


Twins traded the two guys they had to. Would expect some minor August moves too.

    • sploorp, howieramone2 and caninatl04 like this
John Bonnes
Jul 31 2017 02:40 PM

This likely won't be a very popular opinion, but the Twins gave up on this year for maybe five guys who:

a. probably don't rank in the top 15 in their organization and

b. probably don't rank in the top 300 in the minors and 

c. likely will make little to no difference in their future?


That's what Littell, Enns, & Watson are, right? And given the reliever market (which we just saw for Kintzler), they certainly wouldn't have needed to give up much to add a couple of competent relievers.


I know it's been a tough week, but this was a mistake. I don't get why they wouldn't ride it and chance the 9% chance they hat making the playoffs. It feels like panic. What did we gain exactly for giving up?

    • SQUIRREL, USAFChief, Jerr and 16 others like this

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