November 22, 2011
'Duk's Dozen is a heaping morning serving of baseball items, links and takes — designed to keep you warm all offseason long.
1. Well, it didn't take long for a team to gamble that Joe Nathan(notes) will return to a better version of his 2004-2009 self. The Texas Rangers are placing a pretty sizable wager with the signing, too: Two years for $14.5 million with an additional $9 million club option for 2014 if he returns to the form that saw him average 41 saves a season during his six-year run as Minnesota's closer.
That seems like a lot of money to commit to a 37-year-old pitcher who hasn't closed since having Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2010. But it's well within what this crazy market is dictating and it allows the Rangers to move Neftali Feliz(notes) into the rotation, where he has the ability to provide a lot of cheap but stellar innings — a huge value if the Rangers don't want to pay C.J. Wilson(notes). There is a fair amount of risk involved in this deal, but Texas is positioned as well as anyone to handle it. MLB.com
2. Joe Nathan was a fan favorite in the Twin Cities and so it'll be hard for Twins fans to say goodbye. But given Nathan's preference to compete for a ring and Minnesota's desire to cut payroll, his departure was a foregone conclusion that Twins fans will begrudgingly accept. Aaron Gleeman
4. Geoff Baker and the entire Seattle Times staff have done a wonderful job of reporting on a tragic story. Though the initial reports on Halman's death only provided a name, a career path and some stat lines, their work has really painted the full picture of a promising life cut short. Seattle Times
5. Halman is just the third active MLB player to be murdered. Lyman Bostock and Miguel Fuentes are the others. Rob Neyer
7. Jim Ingraham was the only voter to leave Justin Verlander(notes) off his ballot and his reasoning was exactly what I suspected: The Ohio writer doesn't believe that pitchers should be eligible to win the award (even though they are). News Herald
8. Jim may be getting a lot of crap for his ballot, but he has a big friend in Frank Thomas, who won two MVPs and would have won a third in a world without Jason Giambi(notes) and steroids. Hall of Very Good
12. Today's "I'm old" moment: Pat Listach's Rookie of the Year award celebrates its 19th birthday Tuesday. Brew Crew Ball