The Chicago Cubs acquired pitcher Brandon Kintzler on Tuesday as they prepared for the stretch run, but there is an interesting theory on why they were able to make a deal with the Washington Nationals.
According to multiple reports, including from the Washington Post, Kintzler was confronted by Nationals G.M. Mike Rizzo over being the source behind a story that suggested the team’s clubhouse culture had grown toxic this season.
Rizzo did not say that the potential leak was the reason behind Kintzler’s departure, but he did not deny it in an interview with the newspaper.
“The culture her has been good for so long,” he said. “We’ve had so much success over the last seven years that we’re not going to let anybody interfere with that success. We’re not going to let any one person derail what we’re going to do.”
Kintzler, who is expected to serve as a part-time closer for the Cubs, denied the accusations that he had leaked information to the press.
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“I’ve never talked to that Jeff Passan guy in my life, so that’s an interesting accusation,” he said. “I know for a fact that someone got (Passan) to admit his source was not a player, so it was not me.”
The Nationals are attempting to shake up their roster ahead of the end of the season, when they will have to try to convince star outfielder Bryce Harper to stay with the team as he hits free agency.