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Report: Mutual interest between the Tigers and Joe Nathan

Nov 11, 2013, 8:32 PM EDT

Joe Nathan Getty Getty Images

The Tigers passed on Rafael Soriano last winter and decided to go in-house at closer, eventually settling on Joaquin Benoit, but they are prepared to look to free agency to fill the role this offseason.

Jon Paul Morosi of reports that “mutual interest” has developed between the Tigers and Joe Nathan. After declining his $9.5 million option with the Rangers earlier this month, Nathan is said to have the Tigers “high on his wish list.”

Nathan turns 39 later this month, but he’s back to near-vintage form after his Tommy John surgery in 2010, posting a 2.09 ERA over the past two seasons while going 80-for-86 in save chances. He stands a good chance to receive the multi-year contract he’s looking for, with Detroit as an obvious fit.

  1. darthicarus - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    I’m not sure why based on past Tigers signings turning out fairly well that their interest in Nathan scares me a little bit. I believe Balfour might be a better fit for the team just to give them a nasty edge…and also him and V-Mart could hug it out during Spring Training.

  2. rollinghighwayblues - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Uhhhh…I had NO idea Joe Nathan was 38 years old. Wow.

  3. slaugin - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    If multi year deal is more than 2 years, for a soon to be 39 year old, yikes

  4. proudlycanadian - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    The Tigers need more than one relief pitcher. They could probably use a complete overhaul of the pen.

    • darthicarus - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Especially if they plan on putting Smyly in the rotation. The bullpen right now is basically Coke, Alburquerque, Rondon, and a few other guys that don’t amount to much in terms of instilling confidence in letting a bullpen keep the lead.

  5. Eric Chase. - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    None of the final four closers started In that position. Closer is the most overvalued spot in all of sports. Bullpens should be young and dirt cheap.

    • ptfu - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      Closers might be overrated but you still need effective pitchers in the pen. Nathan definitely qualifies. Sure, ideally you’d build your pen on the cheap with young guys but this can work too. The Tigers are a complete enough team that one or two good bullpen arms could make a big difference.

  6. stex52 - Nov 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    If he fits in the budget, he fills a serious need. And he is certainly a choice for a team with a “Win Now” philosophy. The fielding may remain substandard, but it’s hard to see how their hitting and pitching won’t carry them.

  7. thesmedman - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I don’t blame Nathan. I’d leave the sinking ship that is the Rangers, too.

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