41-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Nathan missed the 2015 season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery early in the year. The 41-year-old refused to retire and has been rehabbing for a return, which should come a month or two ...
Joe Nathan Contract Information:
Agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Tigers in December of 2013.
Nathan (elbow) is progressing through workouts this winter with the hope of pitching in 2016, Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reports.
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Joe Nathan Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2015 Stat Review for Joe Nathan As compared to the top 100 relief pitchers in 2015 (min 55 in)
A collection of stats that measure different skills.
A few general measures of a pitcher's effectiveness.
Balls in play avg. and % of runners left stranded.
Joe Nathan: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Nathan was the Tigersí prized free agent acquisition prior to the 2014 season. After posting a miniscule 1.39 ERA with 43 saves in his final season for the Rangers, Nathan was expected to anchor the Tigersí bullpen. Unfortunately, things didnít go as planned, as Nathan struggled out of the gates in 2014. Prior to the All-Star break, Nathan posted a 5.61 ERA and 1.51 WHIP while blowing five of 24 save chances. He righted the ship a bit in the second half of the season (16-of-18 on save chances, 3.70 ERA), but Nathan still finished with some of the worst numbers of his career. His fastball, which hovered around 94 mph back in 2012, dipped to 91 mph and the dominate slider he showcased in Texas was ineffective last season. As would be expected, the drop-off in his two most effective pitches led to a lower strikeout rate (8.38 K/9), and Nathan also battled control issues (4.50 BB/9) for much of the season. Despite the down campaign, Nathan is expected to once again open the season as Detroitís closer. The 40-year-old righty will have to prove he can bounce back, otherwise Detroit may hand over the ninth-inning duties to Joakim Soria or an option outside of the organization.
Nathan's two-year run as Texas' closer came to an end after he chose not to exercise a contract option for 2014, making him a free agent. Nathan was outstanding again in 2013, allowing just 36 hits and 22 walks in 64.2 innings, fanning 73 and racking up 43 saves. The uptick in walks and elevated strand rate (87.2% LOB mark) don't support the elite 1.39 ERA, but Nathan still misses bats at a very good clip and seems to have enough left in the tank to remain a top-10 closer. The Tigers locked up Nathan with a two-year deal in December, where he'll offer an experienced option to finish out games on a club with World Series aspirations in what might be the final chapter of his career.
Nathan gave Texas everything they wanted after inking him to a two-year deal last winter. Well, everything but the 27th out in Game 6 of the World Series. He was back to his reliable self after two years of injury-interrupted campaigns, and he'll rack up close to 40 saves again in 2013 if he manages to stay healthy. The Rangers signed Joakim Soria and plan to bring Neftali Feliz back from Tommy John surgery in a relief role, giving them two possible fallback options should Nathan falter. Both Soria and Feliz are second-half options at best however, giving Nathan a clear role as Texas' closer as the season opens.
Nathan enters 2012 as the Rangers closer in his second full season back from Tommy John surgery. After missing all of 2011, Nathan began last season as Minnesota's closer but struggled and lost the job after just three weeks. He had a 7.63 ERA and nine walks in 15 innings along with a noticeable drop in velocity before going on the DL with a flexor strain. Nathan turned things around when he returned from the DL with a 3.38 ERA and 28:5 K:BB ratio in 29.1 innings. He reclaimed the closer role and converted all 11 save chances. He was arguably the best closer in baseball before Tommy John surgery with outstanding control and a dominating strikeout rate. He'll be 37 years old this season, but his second-half stats show he could approach his pre-surgery form.
Nathan hurt his elbow early last spring and missed the entire season after Tommy John surgery. He's expected to be ready for the start of spring training. However, it remains to be seen how effective he'll be initially and what kind of role he'll have in the bullpen. He'll likely begin the season in middle relief while Matt Capps serves as Minnesota's closer, but he could take over closing duties later in the summer. He was arguably the best closer in baseball before the injury with outstanding control and a dominating strikeout rate. Still, he'll be 35 this season and pitchers often struggle with control in their first season back from Tommy John surgery, so temper your expectations.
Nathan's 2009 regular season shows he's arguably the best closer in baseball, but some talk emerged that he may be fading or that the Twins should trade him after he blew a save in Minnesota's playoff loss to the Yankees. Nathan didn't show any signs of wearing down at age 34 last season as he continued to have outstanding control (89:22 K:BB ratio), improved his strikeout rate (11.67 K/9IP) and had a slightly higher average velocity on his fastball than in 2008. He also got more save opportunities, which resulted in a franchise-record 47 saves. And he remains very durable since he hasn't been on the DL since 2000. If others overreact to a playoff loss, he could be a bargain in 2010 as there's every reason to think he'll be among the top closers in baseball again.
Nathan continues to be arguably the best closer in the game and had another dominant season in 2008. Nathan strikes out over a batter per inning (if down slightly from his earlier days) with oustanding control (88:19 K:BB ratio) and durability (hasn't been on the DL since 2000). About the only criticsm of his season was that manager Ron Gardehire was too hesitant to use him for more than one inning (just four outings over one inning) or bring him in during the eighth inning. He'll be near the top of any fantasy rankings of closers.
Nathan may be the best closer in baseball after another dominant season with outstanding control (77:19 K:BB ratio in 71.2 innings). His strikeouts were down slightly from recent years, but he still whiffed better than a batter per inning. The big fantasy issue for Nathan in 2008 is that he's in the final year of his contract and the Twins haven't seemed willing to sign him to a long-term extension. He's a risk to be traded if the Twins fall out of the pennant race as a result.
If not for Mariano Rivera, Nathan might be considered the best closer in baseball. Although for the first time as Minnesota's closer he didn't earn more than 40 saves (he only received 38 chances), he increased his strikeout rate while reducing his walks. He blew just two saves all season. Expect another 35 or more saves once again.
Nathan showed his strong first season as a closer was no fluke as he nearly duplicated his 2004 numbers. Nathan struck out well over a batter per inning and had a strong 94/22 K/BB ratio. He's a good bet to once again save at least 35 games in the closer role.
Nathan surpassed all expectations in his first season as a closer by converting 44 of 47 save chances and making the AL All Star team. He proved his success after one year as a reliever with the Giants wasn't a fluke after being traded to the Twins. Nathan struck out well over a batter per inning and had a strong 89/23 K/BB ratio. He looks like a strong bet to save at least 35 games again in the closer role.
Nathan will be the primary candidate to close for the Twins after an outstanding season last year with the Giants. Acquired in the A.J. Pierzynski trade, Nathan is coming off his first season as reliever, which proved to be a big success. He dominated hitters with 83 strikeouts against just 33 walks in 79 innings. Two worries are that he's had just one good season and he's moving away from a pitcher's park, but that kind of dominance makes it likely he'll be productive with his new team.
Nathan turned 28 in the offseason, and needs to make an impression soon; 6-12, 5.60 in 25 starts at Triple-A in 2002 wasn't a good one. He's probably on the outside looking in when it comes to the Giants' starting rotation in 2003, and he'll likely spend the year at Triple-A again.