The Nationals have released veteran righty Joe Nathan, according to the International League transactions page. He requested to be released from his minor-league deal with the team, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports (Twitter links).
It seems that Nathan, 42, may be preparing to retire, though there’s still no clear indication that he has made a decision. He evidently was not in line to receive a call-up from the Nats, despite the generally poor performances they’ve received from their relief corps.
Nathan was off to a rough start at Triple-A Syracuse. Over 16 innings, he had allowed 11 earned runs on 19 hits. While Nathan recorded a reasonably healthy tally of 15 strikeouts, he also issued eight walks.
Even if he doesn’t end up making it back to the big leagues, the former All-Star closer authored a rather remarkable comeback story. He underwent Tommy John surgery early in the 2015 season, returning to make ten appearances late in the 2016 campaign for the Cubs and Giants.