Tigers sign closer Joe Nathan

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers have found a solution for the ninth inning in former-Ranger Joe Nathan.

The Tigers have reached a two-year deal with reliever Joe Nathanaccording to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. No detail on the financial are available at this point.

Detroit GM David Dombrowski has been aggressive this off-season, dealing away Prince Fielder and Doug Fister in high-profile deals already this winter. From the start, he has made upgrading the closer's role a priority and now he appears to have found his solution to that hole in Nathan. The 39-year-old closer posted a 1.39 ERA over 64 2/3 innings for the Texas Rangers last year, saving 43 games and blowing five chances for the year. The thirteen year veteran has a career ERA of 2.76 and with Mariano Rivera retiring, his 341 career saves make him the active leader in that category.

Nathan will take over the ninth inning for Detroit and he appears to be an upgrade over 2013 closer Joaquin Benoit. Benoit had a strong season in 2013, posting a 2.01 ERA over 67 innings and recording 24 saves after earning the closer's role in June, but the 36-year-old righty is a free agent and with a career 4.11 ERA, he hasn't offered the same consistent value as Nathan throughout his career.

Even with Nathan off the market, there are still a number of strong options for teams seeking help for the late innings available. Former-Giants closer Brian Wilson, Rays closer Fernando Rodney, and Athletics closer Grant Balfour are all still available and bounce-back candidates like Andrew Bailey and Ryan Madson could be valuable buy-low picks as well.

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