Brandon Kintzler knew one decision made shortly after the World Series ended would determine how hectic the next few months would be for him.
“If my option’s picked up,” Kintzler said, “it’s going to be a short offseason.”
Kintzler’s personal Groundhog Day has arrived. A short offseason is not in the books.
The Miami Marlins chose not to pick up his $4 million team option, Kintzler’s agent Kevin Kohler confirmed to the Miami Herald on Friday. The Marlins instead paid him a $250,000 buyout.
Kohler said Brian Chattin, Marlins assistant GM, told him the decision to decline Kintzler’s option was made because of “the uncertainty of the market and what they’re going to be able to spend this year. They need to be careful with their dollars.”
Kohler said Chattin indicated they would have interest in resigning Kintzler under different financial terms.
“Brandon liked the situation in Miami and would need to know more about why the front office made the decision before he would be excited to come back,” Kohler said. “He loved his time there, poured his heart and soul into the club. He loved Don Mattingly and the way they handled him. It was as good as he has ever been handled. He was looking forward to coming back. He’s disappointed.”
Kintzler, 36, was one of Major League Baseball’s top relievers this year. He had a career-best 2.22 ERA and converted 12 saves this season, tied for fourth in the league.
The Marlins’ decision to decline Kintzler’s option continued a trend. Some of the league’s other top relievers last season saw their options declined.
The Indians waived Brad Hand, who led MLB with 16 saves during the truncated season, instead of picking up his $10 million option.
The Braves declined Darren O’Day’s team option, valued at $3.5 million. O’Day, 38, recorded a 1.25 ERA over 27 relief appearances during his two seasons with Atlanta. The buyout was $500,000.
Miami had already exercised center fielder Starling Marte’s $12.5 million option for the 2021 season.
The Marlins now could turn to an inexpensive closer on the free agent market or allow set-up man Yimi Garcia to try his hand at closing.
This story will be updated.
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