A.J. Pierzynski with closer Joe Nathan.
Joe Nathan has been one of the best closers in baseball throughout his lengthy career, second in efficiency only to the best of all time, Mariano Rivera.
That, too, has been the case the past two seasons in Texas after the Rangers signed him with the idea of moving Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation prior to the 2012 season, and before Feliz ended up needing Tommy John surgery.
The Rangers had a vesting option on Nathan for the 2014 season but since Nathan finished 55 games in 2013, he has the ability to void the final year and hit free agency, and he's already told reporters he wants a multi-year deal.
The Rangers have three days from the conclusion of the World Series, which at the latest will be Thursday, to make a decision on whether to let Nathan walk or offer him the one-year option at $9 million, which would still give Nathan the choice of electing to hit the open market.
The 38-year-old closer racked up 43 saves with a 1.39 ERA — the second best of his career — in 2013 and was the rock at the back of the Rangers' stellar bullpen. Soon, we'll know if the Rangers are searching for a new rock for 2014.