Nathan lost by Twins to Rangers

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The Twins should have shown Joe Nathan how serious they were about keeping him for a ninth season.

In the absence of this serious pursuit from the Twins, Nathan has signed a deal with the two-time defending champion in the American League, the Texas Rangers.

The contract was for two years, amounting to $14 million and coming with an option for 2014, and will be made official on Tuesday.

Reports say that the Rangers have already informed Neftali Feliz that he will be on starting rotation, following his saving 72 games in the last two seasons.

The Twins had gone into the postseason with Nathan for four times over a span of eight seasons. But in 2011, the Twins lost 99 games and will need to fix a lot of things in order to be among the contenders once more.

Nathan was quoted as saying that the Twins was a team he loved being with, but that he was not sure what direction the team was taking.

Apparently, when he sat down with the Rangers, Nathan felt that they clicked and that it would be a good fit.

“We wanted… to see where we could go with this,” he said.

At least 10 teams showed interest in Nathan, and six of these teams gave him offers.

Following a dinner with Nolan Ryan, Hall of Fame owner, as well as other members of the Rangers, Nathan made up his mind to say goodbye to the Twins.

He admitted that the opportunity given to him was a major decision to take in terms of ending a chapter with the Twins. “It was bittersweet,” described Nathan.

Following the season when the Twins refused to pick up the $12 million option on Nathan’s contract, the pitcher who turns 22 on Tuesday became a free agent. The Twins instead paid him a buyout of $2 million.

Terry Ryan, general manager of the Twins, commented that they hated to see Nathan go elsewhere, but that it was to be expected ever since he became a free agent. He said that it was ultimately Nathan’s decision for which team he wanted to pitch.

“They have a good club,” Ryan said, referring to Texas.

Just before Nathan became a free agent, the Twins made him an offer, indicative of being willing to give an offer that was in the range of what Texas offered him.

Ryan confirmed that they had an offer on the table, but Nathan still ended up joining the Rangers.

Jon Daniels, general manager of the Rangers said that they were getting a “big-time pedigree” in getting Nathan.

Following Nathan’s departure for a definite contender, the Twins continued their interest in getting Michael Cuddyer for a re-signing. If Cuddyer chose to sign for another team, they could turn toward Jason Kubel.

Another closing option would have to be come up for the Twins. Matt Capps is among their options, and they also have options among the available free-agent closers, including Jonathan Broxton, Health Bell, and Francisco Rodriguez.

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