The Texas Rangers have agreed to sign former Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan. The two sides have agreed on a two-year, $15 million deal. Nathan will become the club’s closer, with Neftali Feliz moving into the starting rotation. The move will solidify the rotation while also maintaining a strong back-end of the bullpen.
Nathan, who will be 37 tomorrow, missed the entire 2010 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. After struggling with command early in 2011, Nathan eventually reclaimed his customary closer’s role with the Twins and went on to save 14 games for the last-place Twins and appeared to get stronger as the season wore on.
Nathan was an unranked free agent, so the Rangers will not be surrendering a pick as compensation. We’ll get into this signing in greater detail tomorrow, including a look at how Nathan’s presence will affect the Rangers’ pursuits of other free agents, including C.J. Wilson.