Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said Monday night that his next priority was to sign a closer.
It apparently isn’t going to take long.
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reported Tuesday morning that the Tigers were close to a deal with free agent Joe Nathan. The contract would be for two years for approximately $20 million.
The Tigers can afford to pay Nathan that much without a jump in the team’s payroll, thanks to the money saved by trading Prince Fielder and Doug Fister. Signing Nathan will also mean Detroit will probably not look to re-sign Joaquin Benoit, who wants a job as a closer.
Detroit had also been linked with Brian Wilson, but multiple media reports say that he told the Tigers on Monday that he intended to stay on the West Coast, probably with the Dodgers.
Nathan, 39, started his career as a starter with the Giants, but became Minnesota’s closer in 2004 before moving to Texas in 2012. Last season, he went 6-2 with 43 saves and a 1.39 ERA for Texas.
The move would help the Tigers in another way, as they have never been able to hit him. He has a 1.44 ERA in 61 career appearances against the Tigers, and is a perfect 36-for-36 in save opportunities.