After 16 seasons in the big leagues, free agent closer Joe Nathan will announce his retirement from the game on Friday. The Minnesota Twins, who released the aforementioned news, will host the press conference with the team’s game against the Kansas City Royals to follow that evening.
Of the 16 seasons he played in the majors, Nathan spent seven of them with the Twins. After playing his first four seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Nathan would early four All-Star Game appearances as a member of the Twins. Despite being a relief pitcher, Nathan would finish in the top five of voting for the American League Cy Young Award voting twice in his first three seasons in Minnesota.
Nathan would tally 36 saves or more in each of his first six seasons with the Twins, finishing with a save percentage below 87 percent just once (2008) during that stretch. Nathan, a Houston native who was selected by the Giants in the sixth round of the 1995 MLB Amateur Draft, racked up a single-season career-best 47 saves during the 2009 season. Moving on to Texas following the 2011 season, Nathan would earn trips to the All-Star Game in both of his seasons with the Rangers.
After playing for the Detroit Tigers in 2014 and 2015, Nathan would split time between the Chicago Cubs and Giants in 2016. A 2017 spring training invitee of the Washington Nationals, Nathan was released by the team in late March. For his career Joe Nathan finished with a 64-34 record, a 2.87 ERA and 377 saves. Opposing hitters batted just .206 against Nathan, who attended Stony Brook University, where he played basketball and ran track in addition to being a member of the baseball program.