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Friday, January 11, 2013
Joe Nathan ponders playing for U.S. in WBC

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan is considering playing for the United States in the World Baseball Classic this year.

Nathan was approached by U.S. manager Joe Torre, who wanted to gauge the veteran reliever’s interest.

“I asked if I could give them an answer in a couple of weeks and they said, ‘No problem,’” Nathan said. “We left it at that.”

Nathan, 38, had 37 saves in 64 1/3 innings with a 2.80 ERA in 2012. He had 78 strikeouts and 13 walks in his first season in Texas.

He played for the U.S. team in the first WBC in 2006, but did not play in 2009.

Nathan said he’s focused on making sure he’s fresh down the stretch of 2013, too.

“We want to make sure as we hit those later months that I’m as good as I can be for this club,” Nathan said. “If the WBC isn’t part of that equation, obviously I back out.”

Greg Maddux is the pitching coach for the U.S. team. He’s also a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels and has worked with pitchers throughout the Rangers organization the past year.

Daniels has said in the past that the club supports the WBC.