The Tigers and closer Joe Nathan are mutually interested in each other, as Nathan has Detroit "high on his wish list" of free agent destinations, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter). MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted Nathan would sign with the Tigers this winter and indeed the two sides seem like natural fits.
Detroit is eager to find a solution to its closing issues, and they're one of the few teams that could afford to give a multiyear deal worth a projected $26MM to a closer who will be 39 years old on Opening Day. Still, that price could be worth it for Nathan, who fully recovered from Tommy John surgery in 2010 to post two elite seasons for the Rangers in 2012-13. No active pitcher has saved more games than Nathan (341), which helps him stay out in a free agent class that is crowded with late-game closing options.
Along with the Tigers, Dierkes projected the Yankees, Angels, Orioles and Indians as teams who could possibly vie for Nathan's services this offseason. The Orioles and Yankees have closing options already present in Jim Johnson and David Robertson, respectively, while it can be argued that the Tigers are closer to contention than the Indians or Angels, making them a more attractive landing spot for Nathan.