According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees have interest in Nathan and will likely pursue him after addressing some of their other needs first:
Source: Yankees have interest in Joe Nathan, but working on more pressing needs (Beltran, McCann) before things such as bullpen help.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) November 20, 2013
The Yankees need to find a way to replace the best closer in the history of the game, and Nathan might be the perfect fit.
He had a rough time of it when he was making those appearances as well, posting a 4.84 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP while converting just 14 of his 17 save opportunities (for 82.35 percent).
However, Nathan used the 2011-12 offseason to get back to his old ways, and the Rangers signed him to a two-year, $14.5 million deal.
That move turned out to be one of the best for the Rangers in recent years, as Nathan has been nothing short of a star in Texas.
Nathan would fit in perfectly for what the Yankees are trying to do.
New York wants to win now and avoid missing the playoffs for back-to-back seasons for the first time in almost two decades.
The team will be built to make a deep run in the postseason if it is able to sign Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann to address its two biggest needs, as Feinsand suggests.
Nathan is in a similar position. He is built to win now but not so much in the future.
Realistically, he has about a year or two left in the majors before he retires or begins to struggle, but the Yankees should take advantage of him while he's still effective.
Signing Nathan for a year or two could also set them up to find a long-term option at closer, such as David Robertson.
Nathan has also proved that he can handle the AL East teams that he would be facing on a regular basis as New York's closer.
Considering that four of the top 11 offenses in baseball (No. 1, No. 5, No. 9 and No. 11) are in the AL East, it could be hard for a new pitcher to come in and find success against the Yankees' rivals.
|vs. AL East||6-3||56||2.09||1.04|
In fact, he has put up even better numbers against those four teams than he has against MLB as a whole over the course of his career.
The Yankees desperately need a closer, and Nathan looks like one of their best bets.