Twins search for Nathan's replacement

Now that Joe Nathan isn't closing games in Minnesota, the Twins have to find a reliable closer for the 2012 season. As of now, Matt Capps looks like the top choice to fill Nathan's void.

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.

Next Up


Joe Nathan returns to Target Field

The Twins-Rangers series kicks off tonight with the Twins sending Anthony Swarzak to the mound. Texas counters with lefty Matt Harrison. It’s also the return of closer Joe Nathan, who signed with the Rangers in the off-season. The Twins are riding a two-game winning streak.

Joe Nathan, Rangers hold off Twins, 4-3 in 10 innings

Former Twins closer Joe Nathan held off his old club Saturday night with two scoreless innings and earned his first victory of the season as Texas Rangers beat the Twins 4-3 in 10 innings at Rangers Ballpark. Samuel Deduno made his first major league start, giving up three earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings for the Twins.

Joe Nathan signs two-year deal with Rangers

Joe Nathan has signed with the Texas Rangers. The two-year deal is worth approximately $14.5 million and includes a team option for 2014. Nathan, the Twins' all-time saves leader, spent seven seasons in Minnesota.

Twins re-sign closer Matt Capps

The Twins have reached a one-year deal with free agent closer Matt Capps. General Manager Terry Ryan says the Twins' organization believes Capps will bounce back after struggling last season. The righthander finished 4-7 with a 4.25 ERA and 15 saves before losing his job to Joe Nathan.

Twins decline 2012 option on closer Joe Nathan

The Twins have declined Joe Nathan’s $12.5 million dollar option for 2012, and will buy out his contract for $2 million. Twins General Manger Bill Smith says he still has an interest in re-signing Nathan, who now becomes a free agent.