Nathan is expected to officially announce his retirement Friday at Target Field.
Nathan, who has pitched 6.2 innings in the majors over the last two seasons, decided to call it quits after failing to break through with the Nationals this season. He'll retire as a Twin, where he spent eight seasons and established himself as an elite closer. The six-time All-Star will end his career with an impressive 2.87 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 976 strikeouts in 923.1 innings. He is also eighth on the all-time saves list with 377.
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.
Nathan's odds of winning a spot in the Nationals' bullpen may have taken a hit after the team signed Joe Blanton, The Washington Post reports.
Assuming the team carries seven relievers, five of those spots will be taken up by Blanton, Shawn Kelley, Blake Treinen, Sammy Solis and Oliver Perez. A sixth spot will go to a long reliever, which leaves Nathan competing with younger fireballers like Koda Glover and Enny Romero for the final opening. A good spring could still earn Nathan a look from another team in need of bullpen help, but his chances of pitching for Washington, much less working his way into the mix at closer, appear to be growing dimmer.
Nathan hit 92 mph on the stadium radar gun during a shutout inning of work in Saturday's Grapefruit League opener against the Mets, The Washington Post reports. "I'll tell you, it felt very easy today," Nathan said. "I'm surprised that it got there. Normally, for me, spring has always been velocity down, even when I was a mid-to-upper [90s] guy. I always threw low 90s in the spring, so for me to go out and be 91, 92 for a first outing, and I felt very easy out there. I didn't feel like I was putting too much effort into pitches. I felt very smooth, very effortless, I would say."
He gave up a leadoff single to Rene Rivera, but escaped facing the minimum number of batters thanks to a double play. If those velocity readings were accurate, they represent a big step forward for Nathan in his quest to secure a spot in the Nationals' bullpen, after he averaged a career-low 91.2 mph on his fastball last season in a handful of innings after recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. There's still a long way to go, but Saturday's performance was definitely an encouraging one for the 42-year-old.
Nathan threw about 20 pitches in a bullpen session Monday and came away feeling great, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports. "Pretty easy day, just made sure my stuff was kind of in the zone when I wanted to," Nathan said. "For the most part, I threw strikes; didn't throw too many breaking balls. But mixed in sinkers, change."
The 42-year-old is trying to resume his career after Tommy John surgery in April of 2015, and his lengthy resume makes him an intriguing wild card in a bullpen that currently lacks an established closer. The Nats have a history of adding veteran arms off the scrap heap every spring, so if Nathan can show he has something left, his chances of breaking camp on the 25-man roster might be better than you'd think. Whether that translates into saves and fantasy value, though, is another question entirely.
Nathan will be in the mix for the Nationals' closer job this spring, The Washington Post reports.
He's thrown just 6.2 innings in the majors over the last two seasons, but Nathan has one thing going for him that none of the Nats' other closing options do, and that's experience. The 42-year-old has 377 career saves, eighth most in MLB history, and if he shows that he has anything left in the tank during spring training, he could give manager Dusty Baker the veteran security blanket at the back of the bullpen that he prefers. Nathan's still a long shot to even win a spot on the 25-man roster, much less a high-leverage role, but in deep NL-only fantasy leagues he could be an interesting stash on your reserve list.
Nathan signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training Tuesday, Dan Kolko of MASN reports.
The 42-year-old appeared in 10 games with the Cubs and Giants last season, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings. He hasn't spent a full season in the majors since 2014, when he held a 4.81 ERA over 58 innings, converting 35 of 42 save opportunities. The Nationals are currently unsettled in the bullpen, so Nathan could carve out a role for himself if he has a good spring and stays healthy.
Nathan is interested in returning to the majors for the 2017 season, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
The 42-year-old sat out all of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery, recovering in 2016 to throw a combined 6.1 scoreless innings with the Cubs and Giants. His last full season came in 2014 with the Tigers, where he posted a 4.81 ERA across 58 innings while converting 35 of his 42 save opportunities. With his age and injury history, it is difficult what to make of Nathan's desire to return. If he is miraculously able to repeat his 2013 numbers (1.39 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 3.1 W/9 and 43 saves), Nathan will find himself a home quickly. However, it is more likely we will see numbers closer to his 2014 totals (4.81 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 4.5 W/9 and 35 saves), which will make it difficult for the righty to find much value in fantasy. At this point, he's more of a "wait and see" option.
Nathan threw a scoreless inning in Friday's extra-inning win over Arizona.
Despite announcing a closer by committee prior to the game, manager Bruce Bochy turned to Santiago Casilla when the first save opportunity presented itself. After that plan backfired, Bochy went to Nathan to close the door on the home team in the bottom of the 11th inning. The 41-year-old did just that, keeping the Giants in the game so they could eventually win it in the 12th. Cory Gearrin wound up getting the save, but the argument can be made that Nathan's inning was just as important. San Francisco's closing situation is very murky right now, but those who are starving for saves could take a look at Nathan because it appears he has already earned Bochy's trust late in games.
Nathan blew his first save appearance with the Giants, surrendering two hits and allowing both inherited runners to score in a 6-5 loss to Colorado.
Nathan was brought in to clean up the mess Giants closer Santiago Casilla created but was unable to get the job done. While he technically blew the save, this loss was not on him. As a result of the implosion in the ninth, manager Bruce Bochy could be looking for a new closer and Nathan could be in the mix based on his past experience in that role, CSN Bay Area reports.
The Giants recalled Nathan from Double-A Richmond on Saturday.
Nathan had no trouble retiring batters while with Richmond, giving up just three hits and no runs over six innings, so the Giants decided to add him to the big-league roster for the stretch run. Nathan, who was drafted by the Giants in 1995, figures to work in middle relief.
Nathan will sign a minor-league contract with the Giants, MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman reports.
Nathan is set to hook up with one of his former squads after being designated for assignment by the Cubs earlier in August. He appeared in just two games with the Cubs but did not give up a run, and has a chance to be added to a big-league roster again before the season comes to an end.
Nathan was designated for assignment Friday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
The Cubs needed to clear a roster spot after activating Jorge Soler (hamstring) earlier Friday, and their recent additions to the bullpen made Nathan an expendable piece. Nathan had made just three relief appearances since Jul. 24 and none of those appearances were in August. He'll now be subject to waivers and could return to the Cubs organization if he goes unclaimed.
Nathan struck out the side in the sixth inning of his Cubs debut Sunday, earning the victory in the process.
Nathan came into the game trailing 4-1, but the Cubs scored five runs in the seventh inning to give him the win. He walked one and gave up one hit.
Nathan (elbow) was activated by the Cubs prior to Sunday's matchup against the Brewers, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.
Nathan will make his long-anticipated return after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2015. The 41-year-old allowed four earned runs in 9.1 rehab innings, but struck out nine and allowed opponents to post a sub-.100 batting average. He'll look to provide bullpen depth in Chicago -- a team that is widely rumored to be in search of high-profile talent to help bolster a struggling crew of relief arms.
Nathan (elbow) will be activated prior to Sunday's game against the Brewers, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports.
The 41-year-old righty has made an admirable return from Tommy John surgery, posting a 3.86 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 9:5 K:BB in 9.1 innings across Double-A and Triple-A on his rehab assignment. The Cubs have a strong bullpen that could get even stronger at the trade deadline, so Nathan will likely be used in low-leverage situations.
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