January 31, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) The Nationals have agreed to a minor league contract with longtime former Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan.

Washington announced the deal Tuesday and said he will report to big league spring training.

Nathan, 42, could be a long-shot addition to Washington's closer competition after the club lost Mark Melancon as a free agent. Relievers Shawn Kelley and Blake Treinen are internal options to fill that void.

After Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2015, Nathan appeared in just 10 major league games last season for the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco. He is a six-time All-Star from his time with Minnesota and Texas.

Right-hander Matt Albers also agreed to a minor league deal and will attend big league spring training.

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