Joe Nathan, who has full no-trade protection as a 10-year veteran who has spent the last five years with one team, has told the Twins he’d prefer to stay with the team rather than accept a deal to a contender, the Star-Tribune’s Joe Christensen reports.
No trade involving Nathan had been agreed to. The Twins went and asked their closer whether he’d be interested in a deal and decided not to shop him when he said he wanted to stay.
“It seemed for the smart decision for us to say we’re not going to waive [the 10-and-5 rights],” Nathan said. “It’s nice to be here and have a chance to possibly be with this club again next year. We’ll see what that brings.”
Nathan has a 3.22 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings since coming off the DL at the end of June, so he could have been attractive to a few contenders as a possible eighth-inning guy down the stretch. Still, his stuff isn’t what it was and it’s unlikely that he would have fetched a particularly high price in trade.
Plus, Nathan may well be right that his best bet heading into free agency was to stay with the Twins. Minnesota’s warm, fuzzy feelings for him could well help him out in what’s going to be a market saturated with closers.