Enter Joe Nathan, Ranger’s New Closer

          Clayton Shearman
INKED — Joe Nathan shakes Ron Washington’s hand.

The first Texas signing of the winter was All-Star Closer Mr. Joe Nathan. The 37-year-old 4-time All-Star decided he wanted to be in Arlington after a four-hour dinner in the D/FW with Ranger’s General Manager Jon Daniels, Assistant GM Thad Levine and team President Nolan Ryan recently.

Nathan said, “I was completely comfortable. I knew I wanted to play here.” It’s also great that Nathan mentioned later to Ben Rogers of 103.3 ESPN Dallas Radio, that he isn’t concerned about the small ballpark and he took less money to be in Texas. That says a lot about how badly Nathan wants to win and win now.

The 2-year contract is worth 14 million and will include a team option for a third year that would give Joe 9 million. This move will give the Rangers 100 percent commitment to making the young  Neftali Feliz the best starting pitcher he can be. Nathan is 100 percent healthy after surgery a year ago and will look to rebound to the 35 to 50 save season we are accustomed to.


Texas Ranger 40-Man Roster Update

Written by: Clayton Shearman Twitter: CShearman23

The Texas Rangers 40-man roster has seen a handful of changes in the last week or so. Eric Hurley(RHP), Esteban German(Util.), Omar Beltre(RHP), Andres Blanco(Inf.) and Merkin Valdez(RHP) all elected to join this year’s free-agency. Hurley, 26, was a former first-round draft selection of the Rangers in 2004. Hurley had two disabled-list stints including being put on the 60-day DL during the season. German, 33, was a AAA standout for the Ranger’s farm-system and he made a couple of World Series appearances this year. Beltre, 30, spent the entire 2011 season on the DL after spine surgery. Blanco, 27, hit .224 for the Rangers in some spot starts this year but found himself on the DL twice and didn’t make a single postseason roster. Valdez, 29, was signed to a minor league contract from the Dodgers this July and only made five appearances for the Rangers this season.

Darren O’Day, a right-handed reliever for the Rangers the last two seasons was put on waivers. O’Day was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week. Along with O’Day, Mason Tobin(RHP) was assigned to AAA Round Rock. Tobin, 24 was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Rangers in 2010. Tobin was offered back to the Los Angeles, who drafted him in the 2007 amateur draft, but they declined the offer. With all of these transactions the Texas Rangers 40-man roster now has 31 players. Candidates to fill the open spots will consist of minor leaguers from within and possibly off-season free agent acquisitions.

Welcome to my Texas Rangers Blog

This blog will be used to present interesting stats, breaking news, trade rumors, free agency, draft selections, scouting and outlooks for the Texas Rangers. I hope to make it easier for Ranger fans to stay up to date on things the mothership may not tell you while they are filling your time with the Yankees and Brett Favre’s retirement. You can also follow me on Twitter @CShearman23