Detroit Tigers Rumors: It's Time to Ditch Joe Nathan, Look for New Closer

By Connor Muldowney
Joe Nathan
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Just one season after ditching shaky closer Jose Valverde — who was once a legitimate shut-down threat — the Detroit Tigers have been dealing with yet another disappointment. Joe Nathan was signed to a monster contract in the offseason by the squad that was looking to bolster the bullpen, but the veteran closer may have worn out his welcome already.

With a 6.86 ERA, a 2-2 record and four blown saves, Nathan looks to be the biggest disappointment signing of the offseason for the Tigers.

Is it time to look for a new closer? At this point in the season, why not take a risk and try someone else out at the position? I mean, they can’t do any worse than blow a fourth of their save opportunities and post an ERA above six like Nathan has been doing.

Yeah, it’s starting to look like the two-year, $20 million deal was just a bit much for the aging closer.

Sure, Nathan has recorded over 350 career saves, but at the age of 39 and missing the entire 2010 season because of an injury, the Tigers should have seen the risk was much higher than the possible reward.

It’s easy to look back and say a signing wasn’t worth it, but when there are rumors just two months into the season about the team possibly looking into trying out another closer, you know you just made a very, very pricey mistake.

Nathan is just two saves away from tying a career-high in a single season and his 6.86 ERA is a career-high and his 1.48 WHIP is nearing a career-high.

Should the Tigers give Joba Chamberlain a chance? He has been solid with a 2.59 ERA and two saves in his limited time out of the bullpen. Detroit will have to wait a year for future closer Bruce Rondon who will have to sit out the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Or maybe the club should call up a guy like Kevin Whelan. He has a 0.96 ERA and eight saves in 15 appearances with the AAA affiliate Toledo Mud Hens.

Either way, Nathan needs to go.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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