Whether or not the Washington National make the playoffs, they seem determined to have a harmonious tail end of the 2018 regular season.
On Tuesday, in a move that confused many, the Nats dealt reliever Brandon Kintzler to the Cubs for a single-A pitcher who will be inconsequential for years to come.
According to Washington Post writers Chelsea Janes and Barry Svrluga, Kintzler was addition by subtraction:
Interestingly enough, this shouldn't be a surprise for the Nats.
Kintzler was acquired at the deadline last year and provided solid performance down the stretch, pitching to a 3.46 ERA in 26 appearances. This season, he added 45 more appearances and a 3.59 ERA. That type of consistency is valuable in a reliever, but so is going with the flow.
It turns out that perhaps the grass wasn't greener with Dave Martinez, as rumors bubbled up in the last few weeks about bullpen and locker room dysfunction. If Kintzler's role was redundant and he was a source of conflict, then it casts his trade to the Cubs in a more sympathetic light.