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Joe Nathan's name has recently surfaced in trade talks around the league.
Status: Could be traded
Joe Nathan's job with the Rangers has appeared safe for most of the season, and why shouldn't it be? He earned his sixth All-Star Game appearance this season and has converted on 32 of his 34 save opportunities while posting a 1.73 ERA. Despite his impressive season thus far, Nathan's name is one that has recently surfaced in trade talks, and it looks like he could be on the way out of Texas.
It may seem a little crazy to be willing to part ways with your All-Star closer in an effort to make a playoff push, but Texas seems to think they have it figured out, should Nathan be dealt.
Joakim Soria recently made his debut with the Rangers after sitting out most of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery he had in April 2012. Soria has spent the better part of his career as a closer, so the thinking is that he could step in to replace Nathan if he is traded. It's a risky move, but it could work.
Soria's career numbers are pretty good. in 304 career games he has converted on 160 of 180 save opportunities, posting a 2.36 career ERA while holding hitters to a .208 average. He has also made the All-Star Game twice through the first five years of his career, all with the Kansas City Royals.
One of the trade talks that looked to be the most prominent was a trade that would send Nathan to the Detroit Tigers. However, that appears to have all but broken down. Detroit acquired closer Jose Veras from the Houston Astros, making Nathan's chances of going there highly unlikely.
One landing spot for Nathan that appeared very possible was a move to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I wouldn't expect that to happen now. The Dodgers recently signed closer Brian Wilson, formerly of the San Francisco Giants. Los Angeles needed help at the closer role, and Texas needs outfield help.
There was some speculation that Nathan could be moved to the Dodgers in exchange for Andre Ethier, however with Wilson now joining them, Nathan won't be moving to Los Angeles.
If Nathan is traded, I don't think it will be to a team in the American League. While Texas could receive a good player from an American League team, the only teams who are looking to make a deal would be playoff contenders. The worst thing that could happen would be for Texas to meet that team in the playoffs and have Nathan shut the door on them to end their season. If he is dealt, it would almost certainly be to a team in the National League.
Possible Landing Spots: Arizona Diamondbacks