Originally written on MLB Injury News  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Have the Texas Rangers given up on 2013? They have fallen to five game out of the American League West division title race, but they are only 1.5 games out of the second A.L. Wild Card spot. Still, though, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, teams looking for a closer may have what Rosenthal calls "a stunning new possibility to consider." Rosenthal reports that the Rangers may make closer Joe Nathan available for trade. That move may seem strange because Nathan has 32 of the Rangers' 33 saves this season. Michael Kirkman has the other save. Still, Rosenthal believes that a thin market for closers may allow the Rangers to forgo Nathan's $9 million team option for 2014 and get maximum return from a contending team such as the Red Sox, Dodgers, and Tigers, all of whom lack a dominant closer. In addition, one may wonder if the Pittsburgh Pirates might have interest in Nathan with the loss of Jason Grilli until at least late August, possibly late September. If Nathan finishes 55 games, then he may opt out of his contract and become a free agent regardless of what Texas plans for him. He has finished 39 games as of July 28. Two possibilities exist: 1) Nathan finishes the remaining 16+ games and becomes a free agent while helping Texas win games. 2) The Rangers do not allow him to finish his 55 games, thereby demonstrating that they do not want him to close. It would make no sense to pull him out of the closer's role just to avoid the opt-out. They might as well trade him now. The best closers available for contending teams include Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies and Kevin Gregg of the Cubs. Papelbon is not a certainty, though, according to MLB Trade Rumors' Aaron Steen, who has also reported the Rangers' possibility of trading Nathan. That leaves only Gregg. The Cubs, though, have made no secret of their plans to trade pending free agents, and Gregg is one of them. The Cubs are the busiest team in this year's trading season. Meanwhile, who would close for Texas? They have two former closers on their roster who could step right in. Joakim Soria had 160 saves for Kansas City from 2007 to 2011. Neftali Feliz saved 72 games for Texas from 2010-2011. He is expected back in late August to early September. Steen also notes that the Rangers could fit Alexi Ogando, a former reliever, into the closer's role. The Rangers may not have given up on 2013, but they see an opportunity to trim some payroll and get some prospects in return. They have capable closers on the roster or returning soon. The non-waiver trade deadline is only three days away, July 31. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau. Like Raymond’s “Baseball Bureau” page on Facebook. Follow @mlbinjurynews Looking for fantasy baseball advice?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.