Tigers Close To Signing Joe Nathan

The Tigers are nearing a deal with free agent closer Joe Nathan, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

The 39-year-old Nathan is coming off one of the finest seasons of his storied career, having pitched to a 1.39 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings with the Rangers in 2013. Nathan added 43 more saves to his resume, tying him for 10th all-time with the legendary Rollie Fingers at 341. Not surprisingly, he is the active Major League leader in saves.

The Tigers elected not to add a closer last offseason and saw an early carousel that included the likes of Phil Coke, Bruce Rondon and a returning Jose Valverde before Joaquin Benoit finally solidified the position.

The early struggles by Detroit's bullpen and the unit's postseason tribulations led many to predict that they'd sign one of the top free agents available, and Nathan is arguably the best available on the market. Detroit has also been linked to Brian Wilson recently.


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