Rangers unlikely to re-sign Joe Nathan after closer declines option

Posted Friday, Nov. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Now closing games for the Texas Rangers: TBA.

The Rangers and Joe Nathan are almost certain to part ways after two seasons, general manager Jon Daniels said Friday, after the club exercised its option and Nathan, in turn, declined the player portion and became a free agent.

Nathan, who turns 39 on Nov. 21, is seeking a two-year contract, and the Rangers would rather use the money Nathan would command on other, more pressing needs for the 2014 club.

The next Rangers closer is likely to be one of three right-handers on the roster — Joakim Soria, Neftali Feliz or Tanner Scheppers. Alexi Ogando, currently penciled in as a starter, could join in the mix if a starter is added this off-season.

“We feel like the bullpen in general is an area of strength for us and an area of depth,” Daniels said. “I would expect our closer, ultimately, to be, barring something unforeseen at this point, somebody already in the organization.

“The general feeling would be to get to spring training, see how the roster shakes out at that point, and see how everyone looks and feels and what’s best for the team. We’ve got another group of guys who have either done it before or have that kind of ability to handle it.”

Daniels said that he will stay in touch with Nathan and agent Dave Pepe. The sides had a frank discussion about how the Rangers were going to move forward if Nathan accepted the option, including the possibility that the Rangers would have traded away bullpen pieces to acquire help in need areas.

But Nathan declined, and should command a high salary after closing 80 games with a 2.09 ERA the past two seasons. He earned the right to decline the club option after reaching games-finished thresholds.

“Joe’s been outstanding for us on and off the field,” Daniels said. “We’ve got some other areas that are maybe a higher priority for us to address and how we are going to allocate our resources.”

Both of the Rangers’ catcher in 2013 — A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto — are free agents, and the Rangers need a left fielder and designated hitter and have considered upgrading at first base.

They were short on rotation depth last season, and could bolster that by re-signing free agent Matt Garza.

Jones to join staff

Longtime Triple A manager Bobby Jones will be added to manager Ron Washington’s coaching staff as either the first-base coach or as a seventh coach who could fill a variety of roles.

Daniels said that the Rangers continue to seek an assistant who will work with the team’s catchers. That coach could also be the first-base coach, which could make Jones the replacement for 2013 assistant hitting coach Cesar Hernandez.

Steve Buechele, who has been the manager at Double A Frisco the past three seasons, is the leading candidate to replace Jones at Triple A Round Rock.

Pitcher claimed

The Rangers made their second waiver claim of the off-season when they received right-hander Chaz Roe from Arizona. They claimed lefty Edwar Cabrera from Colorado on Oct. 16.

Roe, 27, made his major-league debut this year for Arizona, going 1-0 with a 4.03 ERA in 22 1/3 innings. A former supplemental first-rounder by Colorado in 2005 (32nd overall), Roe pitched in 2012 for the Laredo Lemurs of the independent American Association. His manager was former Rangers star Pete Incaviglia.

The move leaves the Rangers at 33 players on their 40-man roster. Cabrera (shoulder) and Matt Harrison (back) are on the 60-day disabled list.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Portland 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-NW, SPSO
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CSN-DC, FSN-OH
Golden State 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Orlando TV: CSN-BA, FSN-FL
Brooklyn 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: YES, CSN-PHI
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: SN 360, SPSO
New York 11/26 7:30 PM ET
LA Clippers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Sacramento 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Milwaukee 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-WI, FSN-N+
Utah 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: FSN-OK
Indiana 11/26 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: FSN-IN, FSN-SW
Denver 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Phoenix TV: Altitude2, FSN-AZ
Memphis 11/26 10:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Miami 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: CSN-DC+, MSG+
Winnipeg 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: SN1, MSG-BUF
Philadelphia 11/26 7:30 PM ET
NY Rangers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MSG 2, SUN
Carolina 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: TVA Sports, SN, ROOT-PIT
Los Angeles 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-W, FSN-N
Chicago 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, CSN-CH, Altitude
Calgary 11/26 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: SN-W, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard