9 – Washington Nationals grab Brandon Kintzler (2017)
While a certain trade involving relievers in 2017 is still to come in this list, the Washington Nationals acquiring Brandon Kintzler makes the list too. He was a very under-the-radar addition on the day of the trade deadline in 2017.
Kintzler had been closing games for the Minnesota Twins in 2016 and 2017. Despite not recording the gaudy strikeout totals that people think of with closers, the right-hander was about as reliable as they come.
He recorded 45 saves in 52 opportunities and held a 2.98 ERA in his time with the Twins. He was a perfect addition to the back of the bullpen which prompted the Nats to make the call.
Speaking of the call, in one of the more bizarre deadline experiences, Kintzler said he found out about the trade while feeding rhinos at the zoo.
He developed the nickname Rhino from that point onwards, and he certainly did his job for the team. He posted a 3.46 ERA in 26 innings and was a well above average seventh-inning man.
Tyler Watson was the only player given up in the trade. The left-handers still a work in progress while ranking outside of the Twins top 30 prospects and is still yet to post an ERA under 4.28 with any team in full-season ball.
Kintzler certainly helped to plug the final leaks in a disastrous bullpen in 2017. Therefore, he fully deserves to sneak onto this list.