The Tigers finally have their closer.
The Tigers have agreed to a two-year deal with Joe Nathan, according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman. Nathan will enter the 2014 season tied with Rollie Fingers for 10th place on baseball’s all-time career saves list with 341.
Joaquin Benoit led the Tigers with 24 saves in 2013. Nathan, meanwhile, closed the door on 43 games with the Rangers, marking his fourth career 40-save season and first since 2009. The Texas closer also posted a sparkling 1.39 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
Nathan is a six-time All-Star who is clearly still performing at the top of his game despite turning 39 years old in November. He should help stabilize Detroit’s bullpen, which was one of the club’s weaknesses this past season and a major reason why the Red Sox were able to overcome the Tigers in the ALCS.
According to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, the pending deal between the Tigers and Nathan comes after Brian Wilson, who had also been in negotiations with Detroit, broke off talks to explore other opportunities.
The Nathan signing continues a busy offseason for Detroit. The Tigers traded Prince Fielder to the Rangers in exchange for Ian Kinsler in a rare one-for-one (plus cash) blockbuster, and then dealt Doug Fister to the Nationals for a package of prospects on Monday.
Photo via Flickr/mikelachance816