Joseph Michael Nathan (born November 22, 1974) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago Cubs. Nathan started out his baseball career as a shortstop in high school and in college for Stony Brook, but converted to a pitcher after being drafted by the Giants. He worked his way through the minor leagues, alternating between spots in the rotation and the bullpen.
When he debuted in 1999, he became the first player from Stony Brook to reach the MLB. After a few years of splitting time between the major leagues and minor leagues, Nathan had a breakout season as a setup man for the Giants in 2003. That offseason, Nathan was traded to the Twins and became their closer. From 2004 to 2009, Nathan was considered one of the top closers in the major leagues, with four All-Star selections and a league-leading 246 saves. Nathan finished fourth in American League (AL) Cy Young voting in 2004 and fifth in 2006.In 2010, Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow and missed the entire season. Nathan regained the role as closer in July 2011. On August 10, 2011, he became the Twins all-time leader in saves with his 255th in a game against the Boston Red Sox. After the 2011 season, Nathan left the Twins via free agency to sign with the Rangers, becoming an All-Star again in 2012 and 2013. On April 8, 2013, he earned his 300th save. After the 2013 season, Nathan left the Rangers via free agency to sign with the Tigers. Nathan retired during the 2017 season and is currently eighth on the all-time saves list. Nathan currently has the highest save percentage in MLB history amongst pitchers with at least 250 saves.
He is also known as Joseph Michael Nathan and Joseph Michael "Joe" Nathan.