Joe Nathan
Joe Nathan

Joe Nathan (RP)

Washington Nationals

Bats: R   Throws: R
Joe Nathan signed by Nationals

Tue, Jan 31st 7:18pm EST
By Chris Zolli

Joe Nathan was signed by the Nationals on a minor league contract. Nathan played for both the Giants and Cubs in 2016 and, at 42, will compete for the Nationals closer role. He has not closed a game since 2014, but is eighth all-time in saves with 377.

Fantasy Impact: The Nationals are not willing to open the season with Shawn Kelley as a closer, so they signed Nathan and Matt Albers for depth. Nathan will get a fair shot at saves, but has only pitched 6 2/3 innings over the last two seasons. While he is past his prime, he did save 115 games from 2012-2014, posting a 2.94 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

Category: Transactions

Veteran RP Joe Nathan has been called up by the Chicago Cubs. He will be on the roster today against the Milwaukee Brewers. (Source: Mark Grote on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: After a long road, once dominate closer Joe Nathan has finally made it back to the big leagues. The story is a nice one but Nathan is not worth a roster spot on any fantasy team. Follow the story, but don't get suckered into giving him a roster spot.

Category: , Transactions

Joe Nathan nearing Cubs debut

Tue, Jul 19th 8:35am EDT
By Blaine Blontz

Joe Nathan could join the Cubs as soon as this weekend. He has appeared in 10 games for the team's minor league affiliate while working his way back from Tommy John surgery. (Source:

Fantasy Impact: Nathan has been solid in the minors, averaging a strikeout per inning with solid ratios. He would be another late-inning option for Chicago, so his usefulness would largely be limited to holds leagues should he establish a role with the team.

Category: , Injury Updates

Detroit Tigers closer Joe Nathan requires season-ending surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and tendon. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: The Tigers had placed Nathan on the 15-day disabled list. He recently suffered a setback, stating that he was experiencing discomfort in his throwing elbow. It's unclear at this time if the injury will end the veteran's career. While Nathan started the season as the Tigers' closer, it wasn't clear if he would resume the role even if he was able to return to health. Replacement Joakim Soria has done a great job since Nathan's injury, saving five games with an ERA of 1.35. It looks like he will be the team's closer for the remainder of the year, barring injury, and as such figures to be one of the top finishers in fantasy baseball.

Category: , Injury Updates

Joe Nathan has had a perfect season thus far. One game. One batter. One strikeout. One save. Unfortunately, on the final pitch of that strikeout he "felt it (elbow) grab," Coach Ausmus said. Nathan felt discomfort as he tried to play catch Wednesday. That was enough to shut him down for 15 days. (Source: Chris McCosky)

Fantasy Impact: Soria is the closer now. He could pitch perfectly and still relinquish his temporary role because of Brad Ausmus' loyalty. Soria is still a good stash once Nathan returns as it is certain he will get another opportunity to close through injury, poor performance, or rest.

Category: , Injury Updates

Nathan struck out former teammate Torii Hunter on a check-swing slider that ran out the zone. He only needed four pitches to collect his first K and save of the season.

Fantasy Impact: An easy save may be what he needed to start the season. It won't take much for Tiger fans to be asking for his removal, so the first save of the season must feel good to get on Opening Day.

Category: , Game Recaps

It wasn't pretty, but the Tiger bullpen didn't allow a run in 4 2/3 innings in an 8-4 win against the Marlins. It looked good on the scoreboard, but they combined for 5 hits and a walk with no strikeouts. Both Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain had to get out of bases loaded jams to secure the victory.

Fantasy Impact: It is not ridiculous to handcuff a closer like Joe Nathan on a team like the Tigers. They will produce runs, and Nathan isn't as "locked in" as the fans would like him to be. Joakim Soria may be worth a look, especially on a deep bench. Bruce Rondon also looks solid as he tries to return from Tommy John surgery. It is unlikely he will have closing value unless both Soria and Nathan drop the ball.

Category: , Game Recaps

Joe Nathan allowed 6 runs - 4 earned - in two-thirds of an inning against the Phillies on Thursday.

Fantasy Impact: Nathan came into the game with 3 scoreless innings pitched, but this game was a disaster. Nathan's fastball was thrown around 89-90 mph, so look for the velocity to increase as we get into April and May. With Nathan's atrocious season last year, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus may not be giving Nathan as long of a leash this season if he begins to falter.

Category: , Game Recaps