2. Brandon Kintzler
The Phillies signed right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler to a minor-league deal this past offseason, despite him receiving a guaranteed, $2 million big-league deal to re-sign with the Miami Marlins.
Kintzler is a friend, fellow Las Vegas native, and former teammate of Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals, and the six-time All-Star outfielder was reportedly influential in helping the Phillies snag him away from the Marlins.
This past season, the 11-year veteran recorded the second-most saves in the National League (12), and helped the Marlins achieve a long-awaited postseason berth. He blew just two of his 14 saves opportunities. In the postseason, Kintzler threw a combined three scoreless innings, striking out five of his 12 batters faced.
So far, Kintzler has carried his 2020 season success over into 2021 spring training action in a Phillies uniform. He has thrown four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out four batters. Opposing hitters have just an .083 batting average against him. Three of Kintzler’s four spring appearances came at home, all against different teams in the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, and Detroit Tigers.
The Phillies having another reliable back-end bullpen arm option in Kintzler — complementing Hector Neris, Archie Bradley, and Jose Alvarado — would be huge for manager Joe Girardi and new pitching coach Caleb Cotham. A former 40th-round draft pick, Kintzler has gone 22-23 with a 3.31 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, and 313-121 strikeouts-to-walks ratio through 454 career appearances, 161 games finished, and 61 saves in 84 opportunities.