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Rangers closer Joe Nathan declines $9M option

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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