Contenders with closer concerns, take note: Joe Nathan is now available for hire. The veteran relief ace on Friday voided the $9 million option for 2014 that the Rangers had previously exercised. As such, Nathan is now a free agent.
Nathan will turn 39 on Nov. 22, but he's coming off a dominant 2013 season: 64 2/3 IP, 1.39 ERA, 73 strikeouts, 19 unintentional walks, 2 HR. For his career, he ranks 10th on the all-time list with 341 saves.
The Rangers took a chance on Nathan after he followed up Tommy John surgery in early 2010 with a disappointing 2011 season for the Twins. Nathan responded by posting a 2.09 ERA across two seasons in Arlington.
Needless to say, Nathan would be a strong short-term solution for a team in contending mode and in need of help in the ninth inning.