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Twins pass on Nathan's option

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire (L) and relief pitcher Joe Nathan celebrate their win over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 31, 2011 in Chicago. The Twins won 7-6. UPI/Brian Kersey
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire (L) and relief pitcher Joe Nathan celebrate their win over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 31, 2011 in Chicago. The Twins won 7-6. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Twins said Tuesday they won't pick up the 2012 club option on reliever Joe Nathan but are still interested in signing him.

"I spoke with Joe and his agent this morning, and expressed our interest in re-signing Joe," said Twins General Manager Bill Smith. "We will remain in contact with them as we move forward into the free-agent process."

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Nathan, 36, went 2-1 with 14 saves and a 4.84 earned run average in 48 appearances this past season. He missed the 2010 season after Tommy John surgery.

For his career, he has a 48-23 record with 261 saves and a 2.87 ERA in 581 games (29 starts) with San Francisco and Minnesota. Nathan has been with the Twins since 2004.

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