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Updated: August 24th, 2011 7:01pm
Joe Nathan would consider waiving no-trade rights for right scenario

Joe Nathan would consider waiving no-trade rights for right scenario

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With one week remaining until the August 31 waiver trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins have important decisions to make on several players, starting with Jim Thome and Jason Kubel, who were both reportedly claimed on Wednesday.

The Twins can choose to keep Kubel and Thome, or send them to the team that won the claims -- for compensation or for nothing.

Another player to keep an eye on is right-hander Joe Nathan, who earlier this season accumulated enough service time to become a '10-and-five' guy, meaning 10 years in the league and five years with the same team.

With that label, Nathan has earned the right to veto any trade or waiver claim.

But should the right scenario present itself, Nathan said Wednesday that he's keeping an open mind about waiving his no-trade clause.

"It's something I would consider," said Nathan, who recently passed Rick Aguilera as the Twins' all-time saves leader. "It's not something I would rule out."

Nathan added that he's intrigued by the idea of playing meaningful games in September, but he'll analyze any possible claim or trade scenario on a "case-by-case" basis.

As of Wednesday, it was unknown whether the Twins had placed Nathan on waivers, but they still have one week should they choose to look at swinging any deals.

Coming off Tommy John surgery, Nathan struggled mightily during the first six weeks of the season and eventually landed on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow. But since returning on June 25, Nathan owns a 2.66 ERA with 16 strikeouts and only three walks in 20 1/3 innings, and his fastball velocity has increased from the beginning of the season.

Nathan's base salary is $11.25 million this season, and he has a $12.5 million team option for 2012 with a $2 million buyout.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan, Jim Thome