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Baseball Today March 25

Baseball Today March 25


Twins' Joe Nathan gets a big deal

Closer agrees to terms on a $47-million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a 2012 club option.

Joe Nathan and the Minnesota Twins agreed to terms Monday on a $47-million, four-year contract, a deal that includes a 2012 club option on the 33-year-old closer.

"It was definitely a priority for us," said Rob Antony, assistant general manager. "I think a lot of people thought, when it became clear we were going to trade Johan Santana, that Joe was next.

"That wasn't the case at all. We look at Joe as a key member of the core of this ballclub. We had to take care of some other things first . . . but when the time was right we did it. And it was well worth it."

Nathan was slated to make $6 million in 2008. Instead, Nathan gets $11.25 million in each of the next four seasons, starting with 2008, and the Twins have a $12.5-million option for 2012 with a $2-million buyout.

Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge will start the season on the 15-day disabled list while he rehabilitates his knee after arthroscopic surgery last month.

Lidge has resumed pitching in minor league games, but the Phillies decided the right-hander couldn't get enough innings in before spring training ends.

Tom Gordon will fill in at closer for the 31-year-old Lidge, who is eligible to come off the DL on April 5.

San Francisco Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen ruptured his left Achilles' tendon in a minor league game and could sit out the season. . . . Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez doesn't need additional shoulder surgery and should be ready by opening day.

As expected, the Chicago Cubs made Kerry Wood their closer, and Jason Marquis got the nod as the fifth starter. . . . Toronto third baseman Scott Rolen and closer B.J. Ryan will sit out the start of the season because of injuries. Rolen had surgery on his broken finger and will be out two weeks or more. Ryan, still recovering from elbow surgery, isn't expected back until at least mid-April.

Right-hander John Patterson agreed to a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, four days after he was released by the Washington Nationals.

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