Minnesota Twins: Brandon Kintzler trade to Nationals

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 25: Closing pitcher Brandon Kintzler
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 25: Closing pitcher Brandon Kintzler /

The Minnesota Twins cash in on All-Star, and former minor league signing, Brandon Kintzler by trading him to the Washington Nationals.

As the Minnesota Twins continue to go into sell mode at the deadline, they agree to send All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals. In return, they are receiving LHP Tyler Watson along with $500,000 in international bonus pool money.

Watson is 20 years old and stands 6’5″ while weighing 200 pounds. He was drafted in the 34th round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft out of Perry High School in Arizona.

MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the #17 prospect in the Nationals’ farm system. MLB Pipeline also writes that Watson has a fastball that sits around 90 mph, but will play as a higher velocity pitch because he can locate it all over the plate with a steep throwing angle.

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Watson also throws a curveball with tight spin and good action. He is developing a change up which has MLB potential. MLB Pipeline gauges that he could develop into a mid-rotation starter.

This season Watson has had a bit of down year when looking at his 4.84 ERA at Single-A Hagerstown. He has also continued as a starter to strike out around 10 batters per nine innings throughout the minors. All while he has been about 2 years younger than all of his competition. The ERA likely made him available, the strike outs and competition age might be what made the Twins interested.

These are the types of moves a team who is in sell mode needs to be willing to make. Kintzler was not signed after the season, neither was Garcia. The Twins have now added 4 arms in three trades around the deadline, and have more money to go see what they can find internationally.

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It is hard to see a team who was competing not push for the playoffs in 2017, but these trades continue to build a stronger team for 2018. What are your thoughts? Should the Twins have held on to Kintzler and still went for it? Asked for more? Traded more players? Let us know!