BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox continue to look for another bullpen arm ahead of next Monday’s trade deadline. Their latest target may come from within the American League, as they are reportedly talking to the Twins about closer Brandon Kintzler.
The MLB Network’s Jon Morosi first tweeted the rumor on Thursday. The 32-year-old Kintzler, who is set to become a free agent after the season, has posted a 2.84 ERA with 27 saves on the season and has finished a league-high 40 games.
Kintzler has been particularly effective against left-handed batters, who have a .205 batting average and .530 OPS against him on the season. Righties have batted .286 with a .715 OPS.
Strikeouts are one area where Kintzler wouldn’t be a typical acquisition for Red Sox president of baseball ops. Dave Dombrowski. He has struck out just 26 batters in 44 innings on the season, and has walked 10. His average fastball velocity of 93.7 MPH is several ticks below many major-league closers; by comparison, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel’s average four-seam fastball velocity is at 98.6, according to Fangraphs.
Despite his relative lack of power, Kintzler would still potentially be a fine eighth inning reliever as a bridge to Kimbrel late in games. The Red Sox have also looked into Tigers closer Justin Wilson, with other potential trade targets still available.