Nathan (39), is going in to his 14th year as a Major League pitcher carrying a 2.76 career ERA and 341 saves will be the best closer Detroit has had in some time (since Mike Hennemen??). At 39, Nathan will be a one inning guy that the Tigers will get about 60 innings out of; however they are highly productive innings. Last year with the Rangers, Nathan threw 64.2 innings with 43 saves (93% save rate), 1.39 ERA (the 2nd lowest of his career), 0.89 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, and 10.2 K/9.
Post season may be the only concern with Nathan as his postseason ERA of 9.00 in 9 games is a bit scary, however that’s based on a limited amount of opportunity.
A couple positives that came out of this news for me was that first Torii Hunter was big in to recruiting Nathan to Detroit (man I love that guy!) and Nathan got a nice raise but not the $24-$26 million we were originally hearing it would take for a 2-year deal.
The two things that I hope everyone realizes is that this in no way has any ties to the Fister trade as Detroit was going to sign a closer any way this year so the Fister and Prince money most likely will be going to other sources. The second thing is that this deal was done so quickly after the Fister trade because of the negativity surrounding the Tigers by the fan base in what Detroit received for that trade.
Some other facts about Joe Nathan:
- 6-Time All-Star
- 2-Time Top 5 finisher for Cy Young
- Has never pitched in a postseason game in which his team won
- Had a 3.2 WAR last season, the third best of his career (2008/3.3 & 2004 3.9)
- Considered to be part of one of the more lopsided trades of all-time when shipped from the Giants to Minnesota with Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano for A.J. Pierzynski
- Baseball-Reference compares Nathan's career closest to closer Roberto Hernandez, Troy Percival, and Trevor Hoffman
- The Braves (.323), Rockies (.259), Brewers (.279), Twins (.281), and Rangers (.264) are the only teams to have a .250 or better average against Nathan over his career
- The Angels (.170), Orioles (.141), Cubs (.160), White Sox (.158), Tigers (.151), Astros (.197), Royals (.165), Mets (.147), A's (.158), Phillies, (.196), Giants (.125), and Blue Jays (.143) are all sub-.200 against Nathan for his career
- At Comerica Park, Nathan has a 2.78 ERA, .155 average against, and gave up just 5 extra base hits (1 homer) in 25 career apperances where he was facing one of the better offenses most of his career
- Can follow Joe on Twitter @JoeNathan36