Brandon Kintzler to exercise $5 million player option

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ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that reliever Brandon Kintzler will exercise his $5 million player option to remain with the Cubs. This comes after the Cubs declined to exercise their $10 million club option on him.

Isn’t it nice when everyone has options?

Probably a smart move on Kintzler’s part, as he posted a lackluster 4.60 ERA for the Nationals and Cubs last season, in large part to his walk and hit rates shooting up. The Cubs will hope to see him return to his 2010-17 form when he was one of the more reliable relievers in the league.

Kintzler made $5 million last year too, on the first year of a two-year deal.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.