After acquiring Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle in a previous trade, the Nationals added additional bullpen help just before the trade deadline, as Twins closer Brandon Kintzler was acquired for lefthander Tyler Watson.
For Kintzler, the Twins receive Watson, a big, physical lefty who could develop into a back-end starter. While Watson was a 34th-round pick, he received fifth-round money to buy him out of his Loyola Marymount commitment in 2015. He gets excellent angle on his 88-92 mph fastball. His curveball and his changeup both show flashes of being above-average offerings with his changeup showing more consistency at this point than his curve. Both need further refinement. He’s a solid strike-thrower for his age and scouts like his frame and his athleticism.
| Hagerstown (LoA)
The Nationals’ bullpen needed significant help, but opted to go for volume over acquiring one true bullpen ace. Kintzler fits as a useful complementary piece and one with an amazing back story. He was released and out of baseball in 2006, but came back to give independent ball a try in 2007. In 2009 the Brewers signed him out of indy ball and he was in the majors the next year.
Kintzler doesn’t try to fool hitters. He throws sinker after sinker, looking for poor contact much more than strike three. It’s worked well for him the past two season in Minnesota.