Joe Nathan has New York roots. He went to high school in New York and attended Stony Brook University as well. From 2003 to 2007, he’s been one of the best relief pitchers in the game.
Nathan will be a free agent after next season (2008). And, by some reports, he’s not happy about what’s happening with the Twins:
“If they’re going to get rid of two players like (Hunter and Santana), we better have some darn good players to fill their spots,” said Nathan, the veteran closer who also can elect free agency next winter. “They better get a really good package for (Santana) and get some guys ready to play now. If it goes any other way, it’s probably going to send a message to guys like Morneau and myself.”
That message: Big-money contracts still aren’t in the Twins’ budget.
Which would mean, Nathan said, “I only really have another year there.”
Many think that the Twins will trade Johan Santana. If that happens, Minnesota will not be a contender next season. What good is a free agent closer, an unhappy one, on a team that’s not contending?
If Santana goes, shouldn’t the Twins look to trade Nathan too?
I’m still on the fence about the Yankees getting Santana. But, if the Yankees don’t get him, they should, in my opinion, make a play for Joe Nathan – who would not have the same price-tag as Santana.
Tell Nathan that he can be part of a winning team – which he claims that he wants – as a set-up man for Mariano Rivera. If he pitches well, the money will still be there for him as a free agent after the season.
Maybe it costs the Yankees a prospect at the Tyler Clippard level to get Joe Nathan for a year? I don’t think that would be terrible – considering Nathan’s talent level and the need for a quality arm in the Yankees pen, in front of Rivera.