Reliever Joe Nathan, a veteran of 16 big-league seasons and one of the most successful closers in MLB history, will announce his retirement during a ceremony at Target Field on Friday, as USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reported on Tuesday.
Nathan, 42, finishes his career with 377 saves, a total that ranks eighth in major-league history. He’s the Twins’ franchise leader in career saves (260) and ranks sixth in club history in appearances (460). He had a 2.87 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 976 strikeouts, and 344 walks over 923.1 career innings.
Nathan broke into the majors with the Giants in 1999, but he was dealt to Minnesota after the 2003 season as part of the infamous trade that also sent pitchers Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser to Minnesota in exchange for catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who left San Francisco after one season. After pitching in Minnesota for seven seasons, during which he made five All-Star teams and received Cy Young votes on two occasions, he moved on to the Rangers, for whom he pitched two seasons and made two All-Star teams.
Nathan pitched for the Tigers in 2014 and struggled, then came back and threw just a third of an inning in 2015 before having Tommy John surgery. His final major-league season came last year, when he made three appearances for the Cubs before being designated for assignment, then rejoined the organization that drafted him, going unscored upon in seven September appearances for the Giants.
He signed a minor-league deal and attended spring training with the Nationals this year, but he didn’t make the big-league club to start the regular season. After he posted a 6.19 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over 17 appearances with Triple-A Syracuse, he was released on May 31.