DETROIT- The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has agreed to terms with righthanded pitcher Joe Nathan on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2016 season.
"We are pleased to be adding a premier closer to our ballclub," said Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski. "Joe solidifies the back end of our bullpen and fills what we identified as a big need on our pitching staff."
Nathan, 39, compiled a 6-2 record, 1.39 ERA (64.2IP/10ER) and 43 saves in 67 outings for the Texas Rangers during the 2013 season. He fanned 73 batters during the year, while he limited opponents to a .162 (36x222) batting average.
In 13 seasons at the Major League level with the San Francisco Giants (1999-2000, 2002-03), Minnesota Twins (2004-2011) and Texas Rangers (2012-13), Nathan has posted a 57-30 record, 2.76 ERA (858.2IP/263ER) and 341 saves in 714 career outings. He has struck out 912 batters over his career, while limiting opponents to a .201 batting average (625x3104).
Nathan has converted 90 percent of his save chances over his career, which marks the highest conversion rate of any active Major League pitcher with at least 200 career saves. The six-time All-Star (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013) is tied for 10th on the all-time Major League saves list with his 341 saves. He has converted 19x19 save opportunities at Comerica Park and converted 36x36 save opportunities during his career against the Tigers.
Nathan will wear jersey number 36 with the Tigers.
To create a spot on the 40-man roster, the Tigers have designated infielder Dixon Machado for assignment.