Astros Rumors

Astros: Should Houston target Brandon Kintzler in free agency?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 07: Brandon Kintzler #27 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves in Game Two of the National League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 07, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 07: Brandon Kintzler #27 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves in Game Two of the National League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 07, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Astros desperately need bullpen help. The club should look at Brandon Kintzler, who can likely be had for cheap.

The Astros bullpen was one of their biggest struggles in the 2020 season. To make matters even worse, their former closer, Roberto Osuna, has hit free agency. While he was down with an injury, Houston relied on Ryan Pressly, but he is not the answer for the closing role. A cheap option for the Astros to explore is former Miami Marlins reliever Brandon Kintzler.

The veteran Kintzler has bounced around for the past 10 years from Milwaukee to Minnesota to Washington and to Chicago (Cubs). The right-hander has been granted free agency many times over the past decade, and here is another chance for him to find a home with a contender.

2020 Season

With the Marlins in 2020, Kintzler pitched arguably his best season. In 24 games, the 5-foot-10 groundball pitcher went 24.1 innings and showed he is a strong ninth inning guy. He fanned 14 batters while walking 11. The walk percentage sky rocketed for Kintzler in 2020, which might decrease his value, but finished the year with a 2.22 ERA. He was tied for fourth in saves (12) with Pressly.

Relief pitchers aren’t well known for fielding, but for the first time in his career, Kintzler made an error this past season.

2020 Postseason

Jesse Rogers of ESPN said, “His baseball pitching IQ is really high,” providing his Marlins teammates with scouting reports of his former team He had an affective 2-seamer against the Cubs and went on two pitch three innings and striking out five batters in three appearances.

Contract and Future

At 36 years old, Kintzler will not command a large contract and could provide a solid veteran arm for pitching coach Brent Strom to work with. Kintzler made $3 million in 2020, and the price will slightly be lower in an unusual market. Kintzler has the stuff to be an effective closer in the league for a cheap price and would provide the Astros flexibility to spend more money on other parts of the roster, perhaps on a contract extension for Carlos Correa or to sign a player like Marcell Ozuna.

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