Joe Nathan signed a two year deal with the Texas Rangers Monday, leaving Minnesota after seven productive seasons with the Twins. Nathan was given $14.75 million with a club option for 2014.
That might seem like a lot of money for a 38-year old closer entering his second season post-Tommy John surgery, but the Rangers believe he still has some gas left in his tank -- something the Red Sox may not have believed.
Nathan chose the Rangers over other teams because he will be given the closers role, and has a legitimate shot at the World Series. Nathan loved the opportunity in Texas so much that he didn't even give the Twins a chance to match the Rangers' offer.
Perhaps Nathan going to the American League West is best for Minnesota. As this blogger puts it, the Twins were right to let Nathan "take his recovering closer act to Texas."
Now the Twins have to find a viable option at the back-end of their bullpen. General Manager Terry Ryan has spoken with free-agent reliever Matt Capps about returning to Minnesota. Capps struggled for the Twins last season, but that doesn't mean Ryan has forgotten about Capps' success in 2010.
If Capps isn't the choice, the Twins could consider Jonathan Broxton, Francisco Rodriguez or Heath Bell.