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Brewers sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year deal, avoiding arbitration

Kintzler was eligible for arbitration for the first time this off-season.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Late Tuesday night, the Brewers signed relief pitcher Brandon Kintzler to a one-year deal worth $1.075 million, reports SB Nation's own Chris Cotillo.

Though Kintzler is still under team control for three more years, this deal allows the two sides to avoid going through a potentially-messy arbitration hearing in Kintzler's first year of eligibility. Included in the deal is a bonus objective of 60 appearances in 2015, which would earn the righty an additional $25,000.

Kintzler, 30, should have little issue reaching 60 appearances if recent history is any evidence. He saw action in 71 games in 2013 and 64 in 2014. Barring additions to the bullpen this offseason, Kintzler will likely be heavily relied upon again alongside Jonathan Broxton, Tyler Thornburg, Jeremy Jeffress, Jim Henderson and Will Smith at the top of the relief corps.

MLB Trade Rumors had projected Kintzler to earn $900,000 through arbitration this offseason, so it's possible the Brewers overpaid slightly to avoid the possibility of an arbitrator favoring in Kintzler's side. After the two sides submit their dollar amounts to the arbitrator, it's not unusual for them to meet around the middle as a way to mitigate any risk of overpaying or being underpaid.

A groundball specialist with a career 57.2 GB%, Kintzler had a breakout year in 2013 when he posted a 2.69 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He fell back a bit in 2014 and had his off days, but finished with a 3.24 ERA despite a 4.67 FIP. Kintzler was never known for striking batters out, but had a career-low 4.8 K/9 this past season. Still, the Brewers tend to favor pitchers who get ground outs.

The Brewers still have two players remaining who are arbitration-eligible, Gerardo Parra and Martin Maldonado. GM Doug Melvin rarely actually lets cases get to an arbitrator, so it wouldn't be surprising to see both those players reach deals as well.