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Nathan among Rangers considering Classic

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers closer Joe Nathan said he has been asked to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. Nathan was contacted by Joe Torre, who will manage the United States team this spring.

"Joe Torre called and said they had interest," Nathan said. "I asked if I could give him an answer in a couple of weeks, and he said that wouldn't be a problem. I'll talk to the Rangers about it. We're looking to see if that's the best plan going into the season. If we don't think it will affect me too bad, it would be an honor to play in it."

Nathan was on the United States team in the inaugural tournament in 2006 while with the Twins, but he decided against playing in '09.

Third baseman Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz said they are planning to play for the Dominican Republic. Like Nathan, Beltre played in 2006, but did not play in '09.

"You get to play for your country, it's good competition and the fans like it," Beltre said. "I'm looking forward to playing for my country and winning. The fans in our country take a lot of pride in how we do over here. We're not happy how the last [tournaments] ended up, not even going to the finals. We want to show we're better than that. I want to be a part of it and beat Japan."

Cruz played for the Dominican Republic in 2009.

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