We learned yesterday that Joe Nathan declined his $9.5 million player option with the Rangers in hopes of landing a multi-year contract in free agency. The soon-to-be 39-year-old should be in a favorable position to meet his goal, especially now that teams won’t have to surrender a draft pick in order to sign him:
With other options, #rangers won't make $14.1M qualifying offer to nathan. He'll have options too. Better save rate than Mo
Nathan has gotten his career back on track after Tommy John surgery in 2010, posting a 2.09 ERA over the past two seasons while going 80-for-86 in save chances. With a return to Texas in doubt, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that the Rangers will likely turn to Neftali Feliz, Joakim Soria, or Tanner Scheppers for the closer role in 2014.
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.