Chicago Cubs should not have let Brandon Kintzler get away

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Though the Chicago Cubs haven’t had a lot of money to spend this offseason, it’s a shame that they couldn’t bring top reliever Brandon Kintzler back.

By now, we all know the Chicago Cubs are not going to be spending much money this offseason. A tight baseball operations budget prevented the team from signing a free agent to a major league contract before just this past week. They’ve had to get creative with their limited financial resources in getting creative in building their bullpen.

Still, that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow the fact that the perennially low-budget Miami Marlins, who are likely facing a last-place finish in the National League East this year, have signed former Chicago right-hander Brandon Kintzler for a mere $3 million in free agency.

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Kintzler, 35, posted a 2.68 ERA for the Cubs in middle relief in 2019 and he’ll likely get a shot at closing for the Marlins in 2020. There’s also a good chance that the Marlins will be looking to flip Kintzler for prospects at the trade deadline this year, provided he has a good first half.

As for the Cubs, it’s a shame that they could not bring Kintzler back at a similar price for 2020. Given the lack of proven relievers currently on the roster as we get set for spring training in just a few weeks, the Cubs badly could have used his veteran presence this season. Instead, their middle relief will consist of Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan, maybe Tyler Chatwood, and a whole lot of question marks, especially since Pedro Strop is as good as gone as well.

I would have understood had Kintzler signed for a higher price. For example, Steve Cishek also departed for the Chicago White Sox and will be making over $5 million this year. I also understand that there are other factors involved in re-signing relief pitchers; for example, maybe Kintzler wanted a closing opportunity.

Still, it is too bad that the Cubs couldn’t even fit $3 million into their budget to fill one of their biggest needs heading into the season. If the team really is in that dire of straits financially, then they are in serious trouble over the next few years.

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This whole offseason has been frustrating, but this is one of the toughest pieces of news to date. That the front office could let such a valuable bullpen piece get away for such little money is a testament to how poorly this offseason has been handled. Let’s hope they find a way to do something to offset this move in the little time they have left before the season starts.