After declining a $12.5 million option on Joe Nathan’s contract Tuesday afternoon and handing him a $2 million buyout, the Minnesota Twins are in the market for a closer. Again.
The right-handed closer was on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery in 2011, but struggled to locate his fastball and slider, blowing a couple of saves to end last April with a 10.00 ERA. He was replaced by a carousel of closers, including free agent Matt Capps, who sucks at pitching, by the way.
Nathan, who will turn 37 next month, took the hill only for mop-up duty until he landed on the disabled list in May with recurring elbow soreness. He made a comeback in late June and took the struggling Capps' place in mid-July, blowing just three saves in 17 chances with a 4.84 second-half ERA. He holds the Twins all-time saves record with 260.
We've always loved Joe Nathan, as you can tell by this interview we did with him back in May of last season. We'll miss seeing him shut things down here in Minnesota if he doesn't get re-signed, as general manager Bill Smith has said the team would love to do... just not for $12.5 million.