Cubs add reliever Kintzler in trade with Nationals

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CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 09: Brandon Kintzler #21 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs during game three of the National League Division Series at Wrigley Field on October 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs have acquired right-handed pitcher Brandon Kintzler from the Washington Nationals for minor league right-handed pitcher Jhon Romero.  

To make room for Kintzler on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Justin Hancock has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Kintzler, who turns 34 Wednesday, is 1-2 with 15 holds, two saves and a 3.59 ERA (17 ER/42.2 IP) in 45 relief appearances with Washington this season.  The righthander has turned in a 1.88 ERA (3 ER/14.1 IP) in 14 outings in more than a month since returning from the disabled list on June 25, issuing only one walk while turning in a 0.77 WHIP and .192 batting average against in that span.  Going back further, Kintzler has posted a 2.33 ERA (10 ER/38.2 IP) in 41 outings beginning April 11 after allowing seven runs in his first four outings of the year (4.0 IP).  

Overall this season, Kintzler is limiting foes to a .253 batting average against, including a .242 mark vs. left-handed hitters and a .261 mark vs. righthanders.  He also has a 1.99 ERA (5 ER/22.2 IP) in his 23 outings on the road and a 2.84 ERA (2 ER/6.1 IP) against N.L. Central competition, his lowest mark against any division.

The 2017 American League All-Star with Minnesota combined to go 4-3 with 29 saves, 10 holds and a 3.03 ERA (24 ER/71.1 IP) in 72 relief outings between the Twins and Nationals, as he was acquired by Washington at the trade deadline a year ago today.  He was a closer his last two seasons with the Twins before pitching in a set-up role with the Nationals the last two seasons.

Kintzler has spent all or part of nine seasons in the majors and gone 15-16 with 48 saves, 63 holds and a 3.30 ERA (128 ER/349.1 IP) in 343 appearances, all in relief, with Milwaukee (2010-15), Minnesota (2016-17) and Washington (2017-18).

Romero, 23, is 1-2 with nine saves and a 3.27 ERA (16 ER/44.0 IP) in 32 relief outings with Single-A Myrtle Beach this season.  He signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2015.

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