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Cubs acquire Nationals reliever Brandon Kintzler in pre-deadline trade

Brandon Kintzler

Brandon Kintzler is heading to the Cubs before the trade deadline. | Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Cubs have bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Nationals reliever Brandon Kintzler in a deal before the trade deadline, the team announced Tuesday. Washington receives reliever prospect Jhon Romero in the deal.

The move comes just ahead of the trade deadline at 3 p.m. CT.

Kintzler, who turns 34 on Wednesday, adds to a Cubs bullpen that’s already folded Jesse Chavez into the mix this month. The team has been active looking for ways to address a pitching staff that’s struggled to live up to expectations this season, and already made deals for Chavez and Cole Hamel.

With the uncertainty surrounding the status of closer Brandon Morrow, who is presently on the disabled list, Kintzler is another arm to keep the bullpen in a strong position.

Kintzler has primarily served as a middle reliever other than a stretch with the Twins where he recorded 29 saves in 2016. He’s posted a 3.59 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 13 walks in 42.2 innings this season.

The Cubs now have four players with some degree of closer experience, including Morrow, Kintzler, Steve Cishek and Justin Wilson.

Romero, 23, has recorded a 3.27 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 17 walks in 44 games with High Class A Myrtle Beach this season. He was not considered among the Cubs’ top 30 prospects by MLB.com.