Like many teams, the Texas Rangers have several big offseason decisions to make. One of them could greatly impact whether the Rangers have the same success next season as they have had the past few years. Is closer Joe Nathan someone Texas needs to make an effort to keep in the future plans of the team?
The fact is the Rangers would like nothing more than to see Nathan suit up in Arlington in 2014. He has been an incredible asset the past two seasons, particularly what he accomplished in 2013.
His 6-2 record, 1.39 earned run average, 73 strikeouts, 43 saves and 3.2 wins above replacement in 67 appearances are the some of the best numbers he has put up in years.
The assumption is that Nathan plans to reject the team’s option of $9.5 million in order to test free agency. No one can really blame him after the season he had. Even though he will be turning 39 years old in November, there are still several teams that will buy into his ability to pitch at a high level. Not to mention, those very same teams will believe he will be worth the price to give them an extra edge on the road to the playoffs.
There is no question Texas needs to make a solid effort to keep Nathan. At the same time, the organization must concentrate on other parts of the team. There is a reason the Rangers were unable to clinch a postseason berth in 2013 and the management team needs to find out why. Obviously, the possibility of losing Nathan could be detrimental, but there are other areas of focus.