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Rosenthal: Rangers discussing trading Nathan

The Rangers are reportedly discussing shopping closer Joe Nathan before Wednesday's trade deadline


Ken Rosenthal has a story out that indicates that the Rangers have had "internal discussions" about shopping closer Joe Nathan in advance of the trade deadline.

This is a possibility that I've suggested at various times this summer, but didn't think the team would seriously consider. There is a logic behind such a potential move, as Joakim Soria could take over as the closer, Tanner Scheppers, Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts and Robbie Ross give you a quality group of arms to set up for Soria, and Neftali Feliz is going to go on a rehab assignment as soon as this week. In addition, if Colby Lewis or Matt Harrison return, they could push Alexi Ogando to the bullpen.

Rosenthal says that the Rangers are having a hard time finding offensive help, and dealing Nathan might be a way to help them do something to try to upgrade the team. I'd suggested previously that the Detroit Tigers, who are in the market for a closer, have outfielder Nick Castellanos, who has struggled in the International League, but who is also just 21 and came into the season ranked #22 on the BA top 100 list. Castellanos would immediately become the team's best position prospect.

Nathan has a team option for 2014 for $9 million, but he has the ability to void that option if he finishes 55 games, and at this point, that seems like the most likely outcome. Thus, he will probably re-enter the free agent market after the season, and the Rangers are unlikely to commit significant dollars to bring him back, given their current relief options.