Nathan voids contract, becomes free agent

Layne Murdoch Jr.

Joe Nathan has voided his 2014 club option and will become a free agent.

All-Star closer Joe Nathan will become a free agent after voiding his 2014 option with the Texas Rangers Friday, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.

Though the Rangers picked up his $9 million option for 2014, Nathan held the right to void the deal due to a stipulation in his contract allowing him to opt out if he finished at least 55 games in 2013, which he did. The Rangers will not have to pay Nathan the $750,000 buyout he would have commanded were the club to turn down his option outright.

A 38-year-old 6-time All-Star, Nathan joined the Rangers prior to the 2012 season, after spending the previous 13 years with the San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins, where he emerged as one of the game's elite closers. A 6th round pick by the Giants in 1995, Nathan accrued a remarkable (for a reliever) 18.4 WAR for the Twins from 2004-2009, twice finishing in the top 5 in Cy Young voting and saving a total of 246 games. In the spring of 2010, Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the entirety of the season. He returned in 2011, but his performance was underwhelming as he had a 4.84 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched.

Since joining the Rangers, Nathan has returned to form. He had a 2.80 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 64.1 innings in 2012, and he was even better this year, posting a 1.39 ERA and 297 ERA+ with 73 strikeouts, 43 saves, and a 3.2 WAR in 64.2 innings pitched.

Nathan, who leads all current big leaguers with 341 career saves, will headline an impressive crop of free agent relievers this winter. Top-notch bullpen arms such as Grant Balfour, Edward Mujica, and Joaquin Benoit will join Nathan in this year's pitching-heavy market.

According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, Nathan will seek a two-year commitment for his services. Plenty of contenders, including the Tigers and Dodgers, could be in play.

Mlbdd-news-insert_medium

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MLB Daily Dish

You must be a member of MLB Daily Dish to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MLB Daily Dish. You should read them.

Join MLB Daily Dish

You must be a member of MLB Daily Dish to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MLB Daily Dish. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker