Saturday, November 2, 2013

Where could Joe Nathan end up?

Over the past 2 seasons Joe Nathan has been one of the top closers in baseball and for good reason. The soon-to-be 39-year old RHP has nailed down 80 saves over the past 2 seasons with a 2.09 ERA with the Texas Rangers. He declined his option yesterday to test the open market and see who offers him the most money. I think teams are going to be very concerned with his age and injury history especially since he had Tommy John surgery in 2010.

Nathan pitched extremely well out of the bullpen last season appearing in 67 games and getting saves in 43 of them. He had a K/9 of 10.2 and a BB/9 of 3.1. Hitters hit .162/.239/.225 against him last season with only 2 homers and 10 RBIs. It doesn't seem likely he can repeat these gaudy numbers from this most recent season as he had a .228 BABIP against him and that low of a BABIP will most likely be unsustainable.

I expect many teams to inquire about him including teams like the Astros and the Yankees. But I think he will want to sign with a team that can offer him both a closing role and make the playoffs. That will narrow it down to about 2-3 teams including the Cardinals and the Indians. Nathan looks like he wants a 1 or 2 year deal worth about 6 million a year.

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