Kintzler elected to exercise his $5 million play option to remain with the Cubs in 2019, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. As expected, Kintzler will not hit the open market following a shaky 2018 campaign that saw him log a 4.60 ERA and 1.47 WHIP across 60.2 innings split between Chicago and Washington. Prior to his decision, the Cubs unsurprisingly turned down their $10 million team option on Kintzler.
Kintzler (1-3) allowed a walkoff home run to take the loss in Sunday's 2-1, 11-inning contest against the Pirates. Kintzler started the bottom of the 11th inning with two quick outs, but he left a 3-0 sinker out over the plate and Adam Frazier made him pay. Kintzler now has a 3.70 ERA, and he should continue to see high-leverage work for the Cubs despite the hiccup.
Kintzler pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Monday's win over the Royals to record a hold, and he now has three holds in four appearances with the Cubs. Kintzler's first appearance with his new team Aug. 1 came in the sixth inning, but since then he's pitched exclusively in the eighth inning and has recorded a hold in each outing. The Cubs already had the likes of Carl Edwards, Steve Cishek and Pedro Strop on the roster, but they clearly view Kintzler as a high-leverage arm. He might slot down a rung when Brandon Morrow (biceps) is able to return from the disabled list, but Kintzler figures to have a key role the rest of the way regardless and should be able to build on his 18 holds for the season.
Kintzler was traded from the Nationals to the Cubs on Tuesday for an undisclosed package, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports. Kintzler, who turns 34 on Wednesday, has a 3.59 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 42.2 innings this year for the Nationals. Despite his experience as a closer in 2016 and 2017, it seems likely that he will be used in low-to-mid-leverage situations with the Cubs. His contract carries a $10 million team option and a $5 million player option for 2019.
Kintzler (forearm) was activated from the disabled list Monday, Dan Kolko of MASN Sports reports. Kintzler is ready to get back at it after missing just over two weeks with his forearm injury. Kintzler's ratios this season aren't great by any means, but since giving up seven earned runs in his second through fourth appearances of the year, he does own a 2.59 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 24.1 innings over 27 outings.