Today, former Tigers’ closer Joe Nathan announced his retirement from baseball.
The decision isn’t a shock, given Nathan is now 42 years old, and had been an unsigned free agent for the bulk of the 2017 season.
Joe Nathan had a tremendous major league career. It’s hard to argue that he accomplished incredible things as a relief pitcher over the course of his sixteen years in the MLB. The bulk of his time was spent between the San Francisco Giants and the Minnesota Twins, but he was with the Tigers from 2014-15.
With the Twins, he was a four-time All-Star. With the Texas Rangers he made two additional All-Star rosters. He has amassed 377 career saves and ended his career with a 2.87 ERA and a 3.36 FIP.
During his tenure with the Tigers in 2014 he was a polarizing figure, often stirring up discord among the fans. He made 35 saves for team. He was not precisely the pitcher the Tigers expected when they brought him over. His 2013 numbers in Texas were a 1.85 ERA and 2.26 FIP with an impressive 0.897 WHIP and 43 saves. With Detroit he posted a 4.81 ERA, 3.94 FIP, and 1.534 WHIP.
Barely into the 2015 season Nathan was placed on the DL for elbow issues that resulted in a season-ending Tommy John surgery. He would not return to the Tigers.
In 2016 he made appearances for the Chicago Cubs in three games before returning to the club where he started his career, the Giants. He played in seven games for the Giants.