Chicago Cubs have choices to make regarding the future of the ninth inning

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
7 of 8
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Brandon Kintzler

Brandon Kintzler was an All-Star closer for the Twins before being dealt to the Nationals in July to help transform a bullpen makeover.

That makeover, which included trades with the Athletics to bring in Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, the latter taking over as closer, actually allowed Kintzler to occupy a setup role. While in Minnesota in 2016, Kintzler put together 28 saves in 32 opportunities, and 2.78 ERA in 45 1/3 innings pitched.

In Washington, he had a 3.46 ERA for the Nationals over 26 innings, while setting things up for Doolittle. On the one hand, the Nats had to feel good with Doolittle closing games if they didn’t even want to employ an All-Star in Kintzler for the role.

On the other hand for Kintzler, do teams value him as a closer going forward? That will depend on the availability of others, price, and demand. Prior to 2016, he never had a save, before taking over to close games mid-way through the year.

What to expect?

Kintzler could close games for someone in 2018. Outside of Davis and Holland, he’s among the top three candidates available. Kintzler proved his worth for the Twins alright.