Joe Nathan wants multiyear deal
But he knows what he would like to do: negotiate a multiyear deal.
The Rangers have three days to either exercise Nathan's $9 million option for next season or cut him a check for $750,000 as a buyout. If the club decides to exercise the option, Nathan has the right to void it thanks to finishing at least 55 games in 2013.
"I want at least two years," Nathan said Thursday. "The last couple of years, I think I've proven that I'm healthy. I think I've proven to lots of skeptics and critics that I can handle a two-year deal or maybe two and an option."
Texas will have Joakim Soria, who has closed before, and Tanner Scheppers, who performed well in eighth-inning relief, in the bullpen in 2014. Either player could shift to the closer's role for not nearly the cost of Nathan. And he understands that.
"I know they have a surplus of arms in the bullpen, and I know the business side of it," Nathan said. "You're trying to get as much money as you can to strengthen your club, so they may want to spend that money somewhere else. They have some work to do to piece some holes together."
But neither Soria nor Scheppers has the experience or track record of Nathan. The 38-year-old (he turns 39 on Nov. 22) had 43 saves and sported a 1.39 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 22 walks this season. He has made the All-Star team in each of his two seasons with Texas.
"I'd like it to be in Texas," said Nathan, who added that he figures if the Rangers wanted to do something for more than one year that they would have likely talked to his agent about it by now. "It's no secret this club can win. It's no secret the organization has that goal in mind and works to improve on weaknesses and doing things better than the previous year. In that sense, I love this organization and that everybody is on board to try to get to the World Series and win it, not just get to the postseason.
"With that said, I also need to or would like to go beyond that one year and stick around for a couple of years. If that's something they want to do, great. If not, I'm in the position that I need to go out and find that."