The Texas Rangers have signed former Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan to a two-year contract with a club option for 2014. The move paves the way for Neftali Feliz to move to the Rangers starting rotation. The Rangers have had tremendous success turning relievers into starters. Over the past few seasons both C.J. Wilson and Alexi Ogando have made the switch. The Rangers toyed with the idea of turning Feliz into a starter last season but elected to go with Ogando instead. Feliz figures to replace Wilson in the rotation. The Rangers have little to no interest in re-signing Wilson, who is a free agent.
Nathan is somewhat of a risky proposition for the Rangers. He missed all of 2010 following Tommy John Surgery and posted a 4.84 ERA in 48 appearances in 2011. Nathan turns 37 years old tomorrow.
A couple of former Astros were involved in other transactions. The Rockies traded our old friend Ty Wigginton to Philadelphia and Clint Barmes officially signed with the Pirates. Barmes gets a two-year a deal worth $10.5 million. The Astros will receive a compensatory draft pick for losing Barmes. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had Barmes back in his Colorado days and will make Clint his every-day shortstop in Pittsburgh.