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In this file photo, Twins pitcher Joe Nathan, left, shares a laugh with catcher Joe Mauer during the first day of spring training for pitchers and catchers Feb. 18 in Fort Myers, Fla. (Associated Press)

Twins decline '12 option on Nathan

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By Dave Campbell

AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS -- After declining a hefty option on Joe Nathan's contract, the Minnesota Twins are in the market for a closer.

Maybe Joe Nathan.

The Twins decided Tuesday to buy out the last year of Nathan's deal for $2 million instead of paying him $12.5 million, but general manager Bill Smith said he called Nathan and his agent to inform them of the move and told them the team wants to re-sign the right-hander.

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