Chicago Cubs: Is Brandon Kintzler really a clubhouse issue?

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: Washington Nationals pitcher Brandon Kintzler #21 delivers a pitch during the home opener for the Washington Nationals April 05, 2018 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Mets won the game 8-2. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 05: Washington Nationals pitcher Brandon Kintzler #21 delivers a pitch during the home opener for the Washington Nationals April 05, 2018 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Mets won the game 8-2. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /
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Recently, the Chicago Cubs acquired relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler from the Washington Nationals to shore up the bullpen for the second half of the season. This move did not come without controversy, however.

New Chicago Cubs hurler Brandon Kintzler has an interesting story. He was drafted in the 40th round of the 2004 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. He did not last long, as he was out of the system the very next season and hung around in independent baseball for the next few seasons.

Prior to 2009, he signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers and finally made it to the Major Leagues in 2010. He was designated for assignment in 2012 before becoming a mainstay in 2013. His career has been a success for the most part. Kintzler has appeared in 344 games, posting a 3.31 ERA and adding 48 saves.

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Kintzler’s story with the Nationals begins around the trade deadline in 2017. After being very good with the Twins, and the Nats’ bullpen being…not very good, they struck a deal for Kintzler. Kintzler then re-signed a two-year deal with Washington, with an option on the second year.

The 2018 Nationals season has been a rocky one. From a rookie manager, a lack of effort on the field, to clubhouse problems, the whole gamut of problems struck D.C. Washington didn’t exactly sell the team at the deadline, but Kintzler was one of the guys dealt.

Leaking clubhouse comments?

A story came out recently about Kintzler’s role within the organization. The front office reportedly dealt Kintlzer because they believed he was responsible for anonymous comments coming from the clubhouse. Said comments centered around how rough it actually is in Washington right now.

General manager Mike Rizzo believes the recently traded reliever was the reason for these comments. On the same day the Nats traded the pitcher, another reliever, Shawn Kelley, had a tantrum on the mound because he gave up a home run. The score was 25-1 (not a typo) and this home run made it 25-4. Kelley slammed his glove on the grass and stared into his dugout. He was designated for assignment the next morning.

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With all of these issues happening, the same issues this clubhouse has dealt with in the past and the Nats being on their third manager in five years, maybe at some point the problem isn’t the players?

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