Joe Nathan
RP SF
2 days ago

Nathan was released by the Nationals on Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

EDGE Analysis

Nathan made a spirited bid in spring training to win a spot in the Nationals bullpen, but the organization simply felt that they 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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
5 days ago

Nathan has a clause in his deal with the Nationals that allows him to opt out Friday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
1 month ago

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.

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
1 month ago

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."

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
1 month ago

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."

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
1 month ago

Nathan will be in the mix for the Nationals' closer job this spring, The Washington Post reports.

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
2 months ago

Nathan signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training Thursday, Dan Kolko of MASN reports.

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
4 months ago

Nathan is interested in returning to the majors for the 2017 season, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
7 months ago

Nathan threw a scoreless inning in Friday's extra-inning win over Arizona.

EDGE Analysis

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.

Joe Nathan
RP SF
7 months ago

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.

EDGE Analysis

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.