Rangers Sign Joe Nathan

In case you missed it, the Texas Rangers have signed former Twins closer Joe Nathan to a two-year, $14.5M contract that includes an option for 2014.

Sorry Timo.

Apparently, Nathan was uninterested in the Mets’ generous and complex offer that consisted of an unlimited Metro Card, 10 copies of the Playing for Peanuts Uncensored 3-DVD set, gift certificates to the Shake Shack, 50 bags of popcorn, a poster signed by Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, and an undetermined amount of expired green stamps. But hey, you have to give the Mets’ front office credit for being creative.

With Joe Nathan off the market, I suppose the Mets will set their sights on Matt Capps, Frankie Francisco, and/or Fernando Rodney. Though, none of the three are old enough to know what green stamps are, and that could make the Mets offer appear less valuable.

In other news, former Mets captain of grission Ty Wigginton has been traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Philadelphia Phillies. A nice move for the Phils, who add Wiggy to a bench that already includes free-agent signee Jim Thome. Not too shabby — a solid one-two pinch-hitting punch for the late innings.

Another individual once associated with the Mets — Bobby Valentine — has emerged as the top candidate for the Boston Red Sox open managerial position. I can’t imagine a better fit for both parties.

As for the Mets, they are reportedly kicking the tires on Jack Wilson. Wow. Can you imagine? Talk about trumping all the above-mentioned news. It would be a quite a coup for the Mets if they can find a way to fit Wilson into their payroll … and of course, who would miss Jose Reyes if Jack Wilson were playing shortstop? Cross your fingers, and perhaps Christmas will come early for Mets fans!

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Joe November 22, 2011 at 11:45 am
    Sounds not bad for a pitcher so iffy that the Mets had any shot at getting him.
  2. Walnutz15 November 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm
    Nathan’s deal lends further credence to the theory that the Mets will never sign 2-legit closer types for $10MM combined…..and that no one is going to come of their free will to the 4th place Mets to “battle for a closer’s role” – when they can have guaranteed multi-year contracts with World Series contenders.

    Just the way of the scrap-heap, at this point in time. (With some healthy pipe-dreamin’ thrown in there.)

    This is not to say that I even wanted to fork over that kind of deal to a Joe Nathan – but am just saying, this is how the market is playing out for contending teams, who can spend money to add to their existing rosters.

    We’ll see what happens as the choices start to get taken off the market, and how many teams are looking to go after certain arms.

    Some may overpay, and that doesn’t bode well for teams like the present-day Mets, IMHO. All the talk of adding a couple of arms, for set amounts of money…..crazy, unless you’re talking “Chris Young-pitch a handful of times and get hurt” bullpen types.

    And even then, you have reportedly 10 teams looking to go after another guy like that – in Jonathan Broxton…..it ain’t gonna be easy.

    Hopefully, Alderson can pull some rabbits out of his hat – but I have no idea at this point. Which is why it’s even crazier to hear that they have no interest in a guy like Huston Street – for Mike Pelfrey, of all players…..

    Then again, you look at Bob Geren – and say, there’s no way those 2 would get back together to share the same clubhouse air.

    ……..At least we’re not forking over $5MM/per on a mult-year deal for Clint Barmes. (Yet….lol)

  3. Mike B November 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    Oh man Joe, my mouth is watering with the thought of of Jack Wilson in one of those new Met Jerseys with the anniversary patch and with the walls brought in. I dont know about you but this stud with no speed no power and his 260 average we can put him in the #2 spot and really jump start this lineup. Heck I will drive Jose to the airport myself if we can get our hands on this guy!
  4. Timo November 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm
    Nathan’s signing was a surprise to me but not a total shocker. I figured that teams would pass on an older closer with a former injury that didn’t let him pitch a few seasons. I figured he would end up on the Mets to rebuild his credibility. I guess that’s not happening. Also, after the Papelbon signing by Philly, I thought Health Bell would go to the Rangers not Nathan. However, I do like the signing by the Rangers. They get a proven closer if healthy and then former Rangers closer can move to the rotation.
    The Big Pelf for Huston Street trade got me excited. Anything to get Pelf off the team and fill a need of ours makes me happy. However, maybe we should sign guys like Clint Barmes, Jack Wilson, and Matt Capps so we can trade them mid-season. Kinda like the Royals and Blue Jays have been doing.
    Either way, not expecting an exciting offseason.
    • Mike B November 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm
      Yeah I couldnt agree more lets copy the Royals and Blue Jays(you left out the pirates and Orioles).
      • Joe November 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm
        The Jays hovered around respectability in a tough division in recent years, so if the Mets want to reach the step before contenders, they are not really THAT bad of an inspiration.

        The plan is not to be just like them but to use whatever they have to teach that might be useful.

        • Mike B November 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm
          I am sorry I just dont get the “plan” and who wants to hover anywhere,not me. I just dont get this idea that you need to rebuild for 3 years to be good in MLB, take a look at the cardinals this year and in 2006. We got rid of bad contracts Castillo Perez K rod even Beltran.

          I cant even form a thought on here how crazy it is that it seems more and more fans are putting faith in these young pichers. These guys couldnt hold a candle to the potential that Generation K had and we are putting all our eggs in that basket and willing to wait 3 years to find out. The Majority of prospects never pan out and of those that do the Majority of those take years of growing pains. For every Tim Lincecum there are 1000 cant miss prospects that miss.

        • Joe November 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm
          The Cards this year wouldn’t have got to the playoffs if the Braves didn’t have a mega-collapse and even in ’06, they had a manager and overall system that didn’t just spring up over night. It was developed.

          The Mets aren’t going to skip from high 70s to c. 90 wins in one single year, like it or not, even if some odd team (out of 30) manage to do it. It isn’t the norm. It is duly noted the team is messed up which only underlines that it isn’t going suddenly get playoff worthy in one year.

          Thus, a middle ground can be aimed for, such as +10 wins, give or take, which “hovers” around .500. If they manage to do that, to get 85 wins, it would be a step in the right direction.

      • izzy November 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm
        They better charge KC/PITT prices and have lots of fireworks nights and bobblehead days otherwise the park will become known as Citi morgue.
    • MikeT November 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm
      This current Mets FO has shown that they have no interest in using their roster as a showcase for postseason teams like the Royals, Orioles, and Pirates do. I’m sure they are smart enough to know that you are not likely to get anything of much worth back in those deals. Maybe you can steal a minor league bullpen arm that turns out okay, but what team has those to spare?

      I’m sure there was interest in Joe Nathan the closer, but I’m sure there was no interest in Joe Nathan the contract associated with an injured arm. Texas feels he is worth the risk, and if he does get hurt they can replace him with either Feliz, Ogando or someone else. Point is the Mets want someone affordable with less of an injury risk. Nathan would have been a nice story in Queens, but I’m pretty sure paying big money for a closer is stupid when you don’t expect to win many games.

    • izzy November 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm
      Trade them mid season???? Not this group of over the hill and out of touch GMs. Remember last mid season. Yes, they got something maybe for Carlos but wouldn’t trade one year guys like Harris and Capuano because they couldn’t get enough for them! This group is totally clueless with the way things work today. Sandy the dandy can’t function without the roids. Yes, you don’t get aces and superstars, but these moves let you fill rosters and add depth, something Sandy had last year because the much despised Omar Minaya did for him. Omar gave him guyslike Turner and Pridie and Dickie. Sandy won’t get them. This team will suck for a decade. OR MORE.
  5. NormE November 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    I agree with Mike T. Why pay top money to a closer if your team is not a contender?

    By the way, I just saw that the Mets signed Adam Loewen to a minor league contract. Anybody know anything about him?

  6. Paul Festa November 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm
    Holy Overpay, Rangers!
  7. Jimmy Prinzler November 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm
    Janish,

    I think K-Rod is best FA for closer IMO but he can’t pitch in Flushing because he pitched very well with Angels and Brewers. When K-Rod came to Flushing as a Brew and K-Rod posted 13.50 ERA in Flushing (2IP 3 ER 1HR). K-Rod posted 3.71, 2.20 and 3.16 ERA in last 2 1/2 season with Mets and I do not want expensive closer with 3+ ERA and 1.41 WHIP. I surely missed Joe Smith, Heath Bell, and O`Day. Imagine if we have all 3 of em! Solid bullpen. I know Mets cant afford Bell right now. Looks like we’ll go to Parnell which is not a great news. C`mon Sandy, Try your best to sign FA closer because I don’t think I can watch 2012 Mets if they announce Parnell their TO-GO guy!!

  8. Piazza November 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm
    Whatever. I’ve had my heart set on Frank Francisco, who I think is very probable. Maybe they can grab Takashi Saito also (do Japanese players make themselves older than they really are?) and have him set-up. I like Parnell more than most people though, and I really wished he could handle the heat of being a closer.