Rangers sign Nathan to two-year deal

BY Ken Rosenthal • November 21, 2011

The Rangers signed free-agent right-hander closer Joe Nathan on Monday, a move intended to help both their bullpen and rotation.

Nathan, 36, signed a two-year, $14.5 million deal with a club option, according to a major-league source. The Rangers quickly announced that they will move their previous closer, righty Neftali Feliz, to the rotation.

Feliz, 23, gives the Rangers a fifth starter to go with righties Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis and lefties Matt Harrison and Derek Holland.

The team is still pursuing starters, including its own free agent, left-hander C.J. Wilson, but is committed to starting Feliz.

Nathan, after undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2010, returned last season and had a strong second half after struggling in the first.

Prior to the All-Star Game, Nathan had a 5.82 ERA and .756 opponents’ OPS. After the ASG, he had a 3.91 ERA and .654 opponents’ OPS.

He figures to be even stronger in ’12, when he will be another year removed from surgery.

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