October 25, 2011 – The Twins announced this afternoon that they have declined closer Joe Nathan’s $12.5 million club option for 2012 and instead will instead exercise a $2 million buyout which makes Nathan a free agent. GM Smith has indicated to Nathan, who be 37 on November 22nd and his agent that the Twins would like to resign the 37 year reliever but at a lesser price tag.
Nathan has been with the Minnesota Twins since 2004 and is the Twins all-time saves leader with 260 passing previous leader Rick Aguilera (254 saves) this past season.
It will be interesting to see if the Twins can resign Nathan this off season and if so, how much will it cost. But before I try to resign Joe Nathan, I go back to the Washington Nationals and try to swing a deal for closer Drew Storen and shortstop Ian Desmond and I give up Ben Revere, Kevin Slowey and a minor league prospect. If the Nats don’t want Revere but want Denard Span instead, I still do the deal without the minor league prospect. Nathan has obviously been a great closer but he is coming off a serious injury and he will be 37 years old before next season begins. How much is he worth to a team that lost 99 games in 2011 and has many holes to fill? In my opinion I don’t sign him to more than two years and I offer him $14 million for those two years. If Nathan feels that is not enough, I let him walk and I look for a closer.