Yesterday, following a steak dinner, pitcher Joe Nathan agreed a two-year contract with the Texas Rangers worth $14.5 million with a club option for the 2014 season.
The Rangers are planning to use Nathan as their closer and the move will enable the team to move Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation. All of which probably means that C.J. Wilson is good as gone.
Frankly, the Rangers are taking a gamble with Nathan. Between 2004 and 2009, Nathan saved 246 games for the Minnesota Twins before missing the 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery. Nathan returned to the Twins in 2011 but pitched ineffectively. Today is Nathan’s 37th birthday and I doubt he can return to his previous form.
As for Feliz, I think he’s better suited to closing than starting. It would not surprise me that Feliz will be back closing games for the Rangers by mid-season. Despite his disappointing post-season performance, I think the Rangers would have better off to re-sign Wilson than to gamble with Nathan and for that matter with Feliz.
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