The last time the Minnesota Twins were looking for a closer was after the 2003 season. The Twins were coming off their second straight American League Central championship but were going to lose their closer, Eddie Guardado, to free agency.
Guardado had been a serviceable reliever for the Twins for many years. His ability to pitch whenever the team wanted had earned him the moniker of "Everday Eddie." If the Twins were going to contend in '04 in beyond, the team would have to find a new closer.
Then came the A.J. Pierzynski trade. The trade is easily one of the most fruitful in the history of the Twins, and it gave the Twins a solution to their closer dilemma. That would be Joe Nathan, the little-used long reliever who came to the Twins in that deal and will leave as the all-time leader in saves for the franchise.
The Twins find themselves in a similar situation seven years later as Nathan left the Twins to sign with the Texas Rangers on November 22. The Twins are now without a closer in their horrendous bullpen from the 2010 season. That's the bad news.
The good news is that the Twins have a decent number of options that they can use to replace Joe Nathan.