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Cubs sign Joe Nathan to major-league deal

The veteran reliever may be ready for game action around the beginning of July.

Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Cubs have signed reliever Joe Nathan to a major-league contract for the remainder of the season, as first reported by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Nathan was immediately placed on the 60-day disabled list as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Nathan will receive the pro-rated major-league minimum as a base salary on the deal, which includes "plenty of" performance bonuses.

Sources indicated last week that Nathan had just begun his throwing program and would likely be game-ready around the beginning of July, so the Cubs may have him as a back-end bullpen option for the second half of the season.

Nathan, 41, drew strong interest from many clubs this winter as he looked to secure a deal for a chance to make a comeback in 2016. He recorded only one out for the Cubs in 2015 before being sidelined with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Nathan will join Hector Rondon, Travis Wood and Pedro Strop as options at the back-end of the Cubs' bullpen, providing a veteran option for a team that appears to be a World Series favorite at this point.

Nathan is a veteran of 15 major-league seasons with the Giants (1999-2003), Twins (2004-11), Rangers (2012-13) and Tigers (2014-15). He is a 6-time All-Star who has saved 377 games while posting a 2.89 ERA in that span.