After spending the last year criticizing the organization and seeming to want out, Joe Nathan appears to be changing his tune.
“I know what I said, and that’s if the team is looking like it’s moving in one direction and not the direction that I’m looking to go, then it would be a less interesting place to stay,” Nathan said. “But even though we’ve lost a very key guy, I still feel like they’ve made some pretty good moves in this organization.He’s getting older, and clearly wants to be a winner before he retires. But now that the other malcontents have been silenced — by leaving through free agency, being traded, and signing a long term deal — Nathan doesn’t have the ammunition or player support to keep on complaining. All he wants now is a big contract. He claims to know what his market value is (after seeing other closers sign huge contracts this offseason), and wants to be paid like an elite closer. Fortunately, he is no longer sure that that can only happen if he leaves.
“Showing they are willing to sign guys like Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau long term definitely helps. I still have a good feeling about this team.”
“I hope the two paths cross and we can come up with something that works for both of us,” Nathan said. “I hope I can continue to play in the city that I always said is a great city to play in with great fans, a great organization, a great staff and the players have always been great.”I’d like to keep Nathan, obviously, because he anchors the bullpen and shortens the game. I’m a little bit concerned that he’s not as dominant as he once was, after seeing him struggle for an extended period last season, and he’s getting older. (He’s now one of two players on the roster over 30.) At the same time, I don’t see the Twins as being able to afford paying their closer $15M per season.
We’ll see what happens, but I personally think it’s unlikely that the Twins will trade Nathan this offseason. It’s getting late, and I doubt they’ll trade him during spring training.2 comments