Nathan was released by the Nationals on Wednesday. Nathan struggled during his time with Washington's Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, producing a 6.19 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 16 innings. He has a wealth of major-league experience, but with his best days clearly behind him, it's hard to believe he'll garner much interest on the free-agent market.
Nathan threw a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout Wednesday during his season debut for Triple-A Syracuse, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports. The right-hander is probably no better than a desperation backup plan for Nationals saves, as he's not even on the 40-man roster. Still, it's encouraging that Nathan is chugging along at age 42. If the choppy performance of closer Blake Treinen and other Nationals relievers continues, the former elite closer at least could get a call-up to the big leagues to solidify the setup bridge and position himself for high-leverage appearances. That seems like a move from Dusty Baker's playbook. Keep a casual eye on Nathan's progress.
Nathan, who was released by Washington on March 27, agreed to a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Sunday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. It appears Nathan's time as a free agent was short-lived this time around. After failing to find a team willing to immediately give him a big-league opportunity, the 42-year-old will likely report to Triple-A Syracuse, where he will look to demonstrate that he still has enough left in the tank to be an effective reliever in the majors.
Nathan was released by the Nationals on Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Nathan made a spirited bid in spring training to win a spot in the Nationals' bullpen, but the organization simply felt that it had higher-upside options than the 42-year-old. Given his age, Nathan wasn't willing to accept an assignment to the minors, so he'll become a free agent and see if he can draw interest from other teams for a bullpen gig in the big leagues. Nathan made 10 total appearances with the Cubs and Giants last season, tossing 6.1 scoreless innings and striking out nine batters.
Nathan has a clause in his deal with the Nationals that allows him to opt out Friday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. He pitched on back-to-back days for the first time this spring Wednesday and Thursday, and while the 42-year-old hasn't looked bad so far (8:3 K:BB in 10.2 innings), the Nats already seemingly have seven relievers locked into spots after the late signing of Joe Blanton. If Nathan does opt out, he may have done enough to earn a look from another team in need of some veteran savvy in the middle innings.
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