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Joe Nathan declines WBC invite

1/16/2013

Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan has declined an invitation to pitch for the United States in the World Baseball Classic in March. The veteran said he wanted a "full and normal" spring training.

"I respectfully declined," Nathan said Wednesday via text. "It was a huge honor to be asked and I feel good, but I want to do right by the Rangers."

Nathan, 38, had 37 saves and a 2.80 ERA and was named to the AL All-Star team last year.

For those keeping track, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre are planning to play for the Dominican Republic and shortstop Elvis Andrus for Venezuela. But the WBC shouldn't impact too many Rangers.