With just minutes to spare before Monday’s 3:00 pm CT MLB trade deadline, the Twins dealt All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler to the Nationals. In return, the Twins have reportedly received 20-year-old left-hander Tyler Watson and $500,000 in international bonus pool money.
Kintzler was engaged in some official business when informed of the trade.
Brandon Kintzler found out he was traded to the #Nationals while on a safari in San Diego "I was feeding a rhino"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) July 31, 2017
It’s not a surprise that the Twins shipped off Brandon Kintzler. As a 33-year-old veteran who has been doing surprisingly well this season as the Twins’ closer (he somehow made the All-Star Team), but who will also be a free agent at the year’s end, Kintzler was a prime trade candidate. The fact contending teams also like to pick up extra bullpen help at the deadline didn’t hurt either.
In return for Kintzler, the Twins received the aforementioned Watson from the Nats. Watson has seen limited action in Low-A and High-A this year, but according to Washington Post beat writer Chelsea James, his “stock was rising fast.” Through a very limited 10.1 innings in High-A this year, Watson has a 2.61 ERA and 14 strikeouts.
The Twins also received $500,000 in international bonus pool money. If you have no idea what that means, you can read our great primer.
Meanwhile on the Twins front, it comes as even less of a surprise that they held on to their other potential trade candidates, Brian Dozier and Ervin Santana. Though there were rumors that other teams were interested in the two players, they are both signed through 2018, which probably made it hard for the Twins to find any middle ground with potential suitors. The Twins would likely want a bigger return because the two players are more than rentals, but given Dozier is having a down year and Santana has struggled as of late, other teams were likely not willing to give up enough to make it worth the Twins’ while.
Of course, teams will still be able to make waiver trades until the end of August. Those trades are a little more complicated and more limited, but still happen frequently.
The immediate question for the Twins now is who will be their closer? In all honesty, it’s a very good question. Let’s take a look at the roster here and... er.... hmmm... Trevor Hildengerger? Ryan Pressly?