CHICAGO -- The Twins passed Joe Nathan through trade waivers, but he won’t be traded before tonight’s deadline for teams to set potential playoff rosters.
The Twins checked with Nathan on Tuesday night to see if he wanted to be traded to a contender, much as they did with Jim Thome last week. Team officials insist they had no specific offers but wanted to know Nathan’s preference, just in case.
Nathan, who notched his 12th save in Wednesday's 7-6 victory over the White Sox, decided to stay with the Twins.
He has 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the majors, five with the same team), so he has veto power over any trade. Players with 10-and-5 rights must sign a consent form at least 24 hours before being traded. On short notice Tuesday night, Nathan declined to sign the consent form, which means he’ll likely be with the Twins through season’s end.
“It seemed the smart decision for us to say we’re not going to waive [the 10-and-5 rights],” Nathan said. “It’s nice to be here and have a chance to possibly be with this club again next year. We’ll see what that brings."
Nathan, who is 9-for-9 in his past nine save chances, cleared waivers at some point in August because, to claim him, a team would have been making a short-term investment of at least $4 million.
Nathan has about $2 million in salary remaining this year and a $12.5 million option for next year with a $2 million buyout. A claiming team would have had to accept the rest of Nathan’s contract, and it's only been recently that he has started to look like his pre-surgery self.