MIAMI (AP) — All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler has joined the Washington Nationals and shared with manager Dusty Baker his backstory, including three seasons pitching — and even selling tickets — in independent leagues.
Baker described the conversation as "very interesting" and said Kintzler is "probably the independent leagues' pinup boy."
The Nationals barely beat the trade deadline Monday to acquire Kintzler, who made the AL All-Star team this season and saved 28 games for the Minnesota Twins. He joins a team that has built a big lead in the NL East despite the league's worst bullpen ERA.
Kintzler spend seven years in the minors before making the majors, and said Wednesday he's mindful of his long road as joins a team with championship aspirations.
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