Veteran reliever Joe Nathan asked for and was granted his release by the Nationals, a source told SB Nation. While he has not yet made a formal retirement announcement, Nathan returned home to his family in Tennessee, potentially signaling the end of his career.
Nathan, who turns 43 this November, signed a minor-league deal with the Nats over the winter and pitched to a 6.19 ERA in 16 innings for Triple-A Syracuse. He was never considered for a promotion even though the club lacked a stable option at closer.
If this is the end for Nathan, he ends his career with a lifetime 2.87 ERA and 27.2-WAR while saving 377 games. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1995 draft, Nathan saw major-league action for the Giants (1999-03, 2016), Twins (2004-11), Rangers (2012-13), Tigers (2014-15) and Cubs (2016).
Nathan made 10 appearances for Chicago and San Francisco last season, allowing no earned runs on five hits in 6.1 innings.