UPDATE II: Via Jeff Wilson, Nathan will earn $7 million in 2012 and 2013 while the contract includes a $9 million club option for 2014 or a $500,000 buyout.
UPDATE: Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Nathan is guaranteed $14.5 million over the length of the contract, including the buyout for the option year.
Meanwhile, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Feliz has been informed he will indeed make the move to the starting rotation.
8:07 PM: In a move that likely indicates Neftali Feliz is headed to the starting rotation next season, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have signed Joe Nathan. Full details aren’t yet known, but Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that he will receive a two-year contract with an option for a third year.
Nathan, who turns 37 tomorrow, made his way back from Tommy John surgery this season and posted a 4.84 ERA, 14 saves and 43/14 K/BB ratio over 44 2/3 innings. The veteran right-hander pitched much better when he regained the closer’s role from Matt Capps following the All-Star break, posting a 3.91 ERA and 22/5 K/BB ratio over 23 innings.
While the Rangers waffled on the situation earlier this year, they have said that they want to make a decision Feliz’s status going into spring training, so this would presumably set the stage for him to make a permanent move to the starting rotation.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.