The Washington Nationals made just one move at the trade deadline, shipping reliever Brandon Kintzler to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor leaguer Jhon Romero.

Choosing to trade Kintzler and no one else seemed odd at the time, with return nor the financial ramifications merited weakening the bullpen for the stretch run. As it turns out, general manager Mike Rizzo was influenced by non-baseball reasons.

Specifically, Rizzo and company believe Kintzler had anonymously criticized Washington's clubhouse to the press, per Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post:

Kintzler was shipped out because the Nationals believed he was responsible for anonymous reports that painted Washington's clubhouse culture as iffy.

Rizzo seemed to affirm that explanation on Wednesday:

Unattributed musings and anonymous quotes are part of baseball -- heck, this revelation concerning the trade comes from, well, a leak. That isn't a criticism of Svrluga or the information; that's just how sports reporting works. "Moneyball," probably the most popular piece of baseball literature from the past couple decades, includes both talk about how teams use the media to their advantage and a trade made for non-performance reasons. None of this is new.

What is new -- or, at least, rare -- is a team addressing a potential clubhouse issue by banishing a suspected chatterbox rather than those who are behind the toxic environment. It wouldn't seem like Kintzler was positioned to gain much by misrepresenting the clubhouse -- more favorable press wouldn't seem to be a consideration for a middle reliever who seldom receives much coverage to begin with.

As such, this trade might have the opposite effect of the ends the Nationals desire: Rather than it answering all the questions about what's happening in D.C., it might spur more inquiries.