Twins: Closer's option to be picked up

Joe Nathan said Wednesday that the Twins will pick up his $6 million option for 2008 in the next few days.

"We're just waiting for some paperwork," Nathan said between swings during a charity golf tournament in Tennessee.

Nathan made $5.25 million this season, during which he was 4-2 with a 1.88 ERA and saved 37 games in 41 attempts. A lack of save opportunities kept him from reaching 40 saves for the third time in the past four seasons with the club. The Twins could have picked up the option or paid Nathan a $1 million buyout.

Nathan would like to negotiate a contract extension with the Twins, but there has been little progress made after the sides addressed it briefly during spring training.

Dave Pepe, Nathan's agent, said Wednesday that he's been in contact with new Twins General Manager Bill Smith.

"Bill and I have had conversations about a lot of things," Pepe said. "Nothing specific in terms of hammering out a contract."

The Twins could announce their plans for Nathan on Friday, between Games 2 and 3 of the World Series.

Shopping around

Smith declined to discuss the Twins' contract talks with free agents Torii Hunter and Carlos Silva. The club would like to sign both players and will have exclusive negotiating rights with them for 15 days following the World Series.

Regardless if the Twins have or will make offers to both players, indications are they will shop around before deciding on their futures. That would throw a wrench into Smith's offseason plans, because that process could stretch into December.

"The players have earned that right," Smith acknowledged. "You can't harbor any ill will that they are exercising the rights they have earned."

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