As anticipated, the Tigers announced Tuesday that they have declined their $10 million option on veteran reliever Joe Nathan, making him a free agent. He’ll get a $1 million buyout instead.
Nathan faced just one batter in 2015 before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery in mid-April and probably won’t be fully recovered until sometime next May.
Nathan has stated that he plans to pitch in 2016, so the soon-to-be 41-year-old will be shopping for offers this winter. It’s possible he’ll have to settle for a non-guaranteed minor league contract.
Nathan is sitting on 377 career saves and a 2.89 career ERA.