"Nathan is not an easy at-bat," added Teahen, who may be entering his first season with the White Sox but already knows what they think of the right-hander."In six, seven years, I can't remember a good day against him," Guillen said. "Oh, no doubt he's been tough. Even [Mariano] Rivera hasn't been as tough against us." In 2009, Nathan made 10 appearances against the White Sox, eight of them Twins wins. Those eight saves jacked his career total against the Sox to 24, with a 2.06 ERA for 49 appearances. That ERA actually took a beating the last time the White Sox played under the Metrodome, on Sept. 2, when back-to-back homers by Gordon Beckham and Konerko blew the 2-0 lead Nathan had entered to protect. "They probably had him undergo tests after that home run," Konerko said with a grin, before growing serious. "I've had a chance to meet and get to know him, and he's really a good guy, and you don't want to see that happen. It may seem like a good story for us and some other teams, and it's natural to talk about it when a significant player goes down. But we feel like it's none of our business." It isn't much of a consolation for Gardenhire, but if you were going to lose a game-changing pitcher, you would want to lose him in early March. "It's never a good time to lose someone like Joe Nathan, but at least now they can go out and get some help," Guillen said. "Gardy will have time to find out maybe who can step in and do a job. Who will be the guy? I'd rather face anyone other than Nathan." Minnesota general manager Bill Smith would have numerous options if he chose to explore a possible trade for a substitute closer. Teams currently with multiple relievers with closing experience include the Angels (Brian Fuentes and Fernando Rodney), Milwaukee (Trevor Hoffman and Dave Riske) and the Dodgers (Jonathan Braxton and George Sherrill). Other teams in camp with an incumbent closer and one rehabilitating include Oakland (Andrew Bailey and Brad Ziegler) and Seattle (Dave Aardsma and Chad Cordero).
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.