The Texas Rangers have had internal discussions about trading All-Star right-hander Joe Nathan, according to major league sources.
If the Rangers proceed, it would be with the idea of dealing from strength and exploiting a thin market for relievers, sources said.
Typically a team that had no problems scoring runs, the Rangers need help there this year. They dropped from nearly 5 runs per game last season down to 4.2 runs per game this. So if any team wants to match up with the Rangers, they're probably going to have to offer assistance there. The Rangers have also lost 8 of their last 10 games and find themselves 1.5 games out of an AL Wild Card spot. In fact, they're just a half-game ahead of the Indians in the standings. So desperate times may be calling for desperate measures.
A former Twins mainstay, Nathan has a 1.73 ERA and 2.42 FIP for the Rangers this season. He's recorded 32 saves.
Joaquin Benoit has been stellar in the Tigers' closer role, but they could use a little extra help in the back end of the bullpen due to his durability concerns and fellow right-hander Al Alburquerque has stumbled rather hard lately. Alburquerque has allowed multiple runs in four of his last seven appearances. Righty Bruce Rondon has allowed runs in three of his last six appearances as well. Counting on Jeremy Bonderman to Jair Jurrjens to transition from out-of-work to key late-innings relievers seems rather optimistic. So the Tigers could use help.
However, given the Rangers' needs, it's hard to picture the team's matching up real well, so a deal seems unlikely.