Monday, November 21, 2011

Joe Nathan signs with Texas

Joe Nathan had 14 saves and a 4.84 ERA in 2011,
his first season back after ligament replacement surgery.
Adios to No. 36, who has agreed to what is being reported as a two-year deal with a third year option, $14.5 million guaranteed.

The Rangers are reported to have told Neftali Feliz that he's moving to the rotation, taking the spot being vacated by free-agent C.J. Wilson. Nathan inherits the closers job for the team that represented the American League the past two years in the World Series.

I expected Nathan to return, and I'm sorry to see him move on. But I'm not despondent about his departure.

He turns 37 on Tuesday, and even in his much-improved second half he allowed three homers in 23 innings and had an ERA of 3.91. Maybe he can still return to the fabulous level he maintained for his first six years with the Twins, but the odds are against it.

The next question is: How will the Twins rework their bullpen for 2012?

This will be grist for many a future post, but my off-the-top-of-my-head idea is that if the Twins are serious about making Brian Duensing a relief pitcher, they might as well tab Glen Perkins for the closer job. Perkins, Duensing and Jose Mijares would make a very deep lefty bullpen corps, and I don't know that they'd get proper use out of them if they're all strictly LOOGYs.

I'd rather see the Twins put their discretionary payroll money into something other than a "proven closer."


  1. Dodged a bullet, in my mind. A team with little prospect of seriously contending next year has no business signing such a "reclamation project". I just hope that somebody signs both Cuddyer and Kubel before the Twins resign either player. I'm a Kubel fan, but it's time to move on.

  2. Yes - it's interesting how the new park was going to enable us to field contending teams and by the 2nd year of its' opening we are a Triple A team once again. Sure injuries played a part, but how can you have a $100M payroll and be in this much disarray?

  3. Remember, roughly a third of that comprises of Mauer and Morneau, neither of which had that productive of a season last year. One of the reasons I do prefer Terry Ryan as opposed to Bill Smith is that Ryan is more conservative when it comes to salary. You're not throwing millions of dollars at a closer who quite frankly can't close.