Rangers closer Joe Nathan declines $9M option


Joe Nathan had 80 saves over the last two seasons for the Rangers, but will be a free agent this winter.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Closer Joe Nathan is a free agent after declining a $9 million contract option from the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers exercised their portion of the mutual option on Friday.

But Nathan, who had indicated he wants a multiyear deal, was able to opt out of the deal after making 67 appearances this season. By declining the option, Nathan also gave up a $750,000 buyout.

Nathan, who turns 39 later this month, had 80 saves over the past two seasons in Texas. He was 6-2 with a 1.39 ERA and 43 saves this year.

General manager Jon Daniels says the Rangers feel like their bullpen is a strength and area of depth. He expects the next closer to come from within the organization.

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