One of the more glaring weaknesses with the Detroit Tigers this past season was their bullpen issues. So one of the goals the team had during this off season was to add a proven closer.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Tigers have agreed to a two-year deal with reliever Joe Nathan.
Nathan and Tigers will have a 2-year agreement. tigers finally get their closer.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 3, 2013
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has some information regarding about how much the contract is worth.
Source: Nathan deal with #Tigers is in $20M range for two years.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 3, 2013
Nathan is getting up in age with him being 39 years old, but the veteran reliever has not showed any signs of slowing down since he joined the Texas Rangers in 2012.
He saved 80 games in two years with the Rangers, and is now tied for 10th with Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers on the all-time saves list with 341.
He was terrific last season in closing out games for Texas. Nathan notched 43 saves, compiled a 1.39 ERA, struck out 73 batters and had a 0.90 WHIP.
The right-handed reliever held the opposition to a .163 batting average and right-handed batters had an average of .152 against him. He performed great with runners in scoring position, as indicated by him limiting batters to a .229 average in this situation.
Detroit now has a reliable closer they can depend on to get those three crucial outs in the last inning of a ballgame. This move also allows reliever Joaquin Benoit to transition back into a setup role in the bullpen.