FanPost

Nathan, the new trade bait

Joe Nathan could be the guy who could fill out the Twins' roster in a heartbeat.

Based on the new market set by the Blue Jays signing of B.J. Ryan, maybe the player Twins Territory needs to talk about trading is Joe Nathan.  If Ryan is worth $9 million/year for 5 years, what would Joe Nathan be worth to a trading partner?

Don't get me wrong, I love having Nathan.  But I also would love having a real starting second baseman and/or a number four or five hitter.  I won't speculate on trading partners, but it sure seems like moving Rincon to closer and grooming Boof Bonser into a reliever role would be only a marginally risky move.  I suspect Travis Bowyer could work well his rookie season even if he only has one pitch.

If the offense can score more than 3 runs a game, then I don't think the bullpen would need to be the stoutest in the league.  Not to say it wouldn't be stout without Nathan.  Would the Twins have to get a little lucky with cheap free agent bullpen help?  Sure, and they've done it before with Fiore, Roa, Jackson, Carrasco, and even Wells.  The prescription for success always appears to be grabbing a long-time National League reliever and run him out there for a year.  By the time the league figures him out, the season is over, he doesn't need to reside on the playoff roster, and a new guy can be found next year.

I just can't imagine what a trade suitor would be willing to pay for a closer whose salary is annually averaging over $3 million less over the next three years than the now overinflated market.

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