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Twins sign Nathan to two-year pact

By Dave Campbell

Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins signed right-handed reliever Joe Nathan to a two-year contract Thursday in a complicated deal that will pay him more if he becomes the team's closer this season.

Nathan, speaking in the clubhouse before Minnesota's exhibition opener against Boston, said he was unsure of the specifics but that he was guaranteed $440,000 this year.

Acquired from San Francisco in a November trade, Nathan is Minnesota's leading candidate to replace Eddie Guardado (now with Seattle) as closer.

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The team also renewed the contract of right-hander Kyle Lohse at $395,000 after failing to reach agreement on a one-year deal. Twins policy is to dock $10,000 off their best offer when forced to renew a contract. Since Lohse has less than three years of experience and isn't arbitration-eligible, he's forced to accept the offer.

Lohse, a 14-game winner last year, threw two scoreless innings in his spring debut against the Red Sox.

Additionally, Minnesota signed 25 other players:, including Rochester's Michael Restovich.

RED SOX 5, TWINS 3

BOSTON MINNESOTA

; ab r h bi ab r h bi

; Kapler cf 3 0 1 0 Stewart; lf 2 0 0 0

; Jeremy cf 2 0 1 1 Ryan; lf 1 0 0 0

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; Mueller 3b 3 1 1 0 Garbe; pr-cf 0 0 0 0

; Youkilis 3b 2 0 0 0 Rivas; 2b 3 0 1 2

; Ramirez lf 1 0 0 0 Rodriguez; 2b 1 0 0 0

; Daubach lf 3 0 1 1 Mientkiewicz; 1b 2 0 0 0

; Garciaparra ss 2 0 0 0 Momeau; 1b 2 0 0 0

; Crespo ss 2 1 1 1 Koskie; 3b 2 0 0 0

; Febles ss 0 0 0 0 Cuddyer; 3b 2 0 0 0

; Ortiz dh 2 0 1 0 Hunter; cf 2 0 1 0

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; Dominique ph-dh 2 1 1 1 Ford; pr-cf-lf 2 0 2 0

; Millar 1b 1 0 0 0 Jones; rf 2 0 1 0

; McCarty 1b 3 0 0 0 Restovich; pr-lf 2 0 1 0

; Varitek c 2 0 0 0 LeCroy; dh 1 0 0 0

; Hernandez c 2 1 1 0 Tiffee; pr-dh 2 0 0 0

; Hyzdu rf 4 0 0 0 Mauer; c 1 1 0 0

; Reese 2b 2 1 1 0 Torres; c 1 1 1 1

; Medrano 2b 1 0 0 0 Marsters; c 1 0 0 0

; Guzman; ss 2 1 1 0

; Bartlett; ss 2 0 0 0

; Totals 37 5 9 4 Totals 33 3 8 3

; Boston 000 020 021 -- 5

; Minnesota 002 000 100 -- 3

; E--Cuddyer, Guzman. DP--Boston 1. LOB--Boston 10, Minnesota 6. 2B--Guzman, Rivas, Restovich, Ortiz, Daubach. HR--Dominique (1), Torres (1). SF--Crespo.

IP H R ER BB SO

; Boston

Lowe 2 0 0 0 0 1

; Shiell 1 2 2 2 1 3

; Brown 1 2 0 0 1 1

; Hamulack 1 0 0 0 0 2

; Garcia 1 1 0 0 0 1

; Bean W, 1-0 1 1 1 1 1 0

; AMartinez 1 2 0 0 0 2

; Hebson 1 0 0 0 0 2

; Minnesota

Lohse 2 0 0 0 1 1

; Thomas 2 2 0 0 1 2

; Nathan 1 3 2 2 0 0

; Fultz 1 1 0 0 0 0

; Douglass 1 0 0 0 0 2

; Tolar L, 0-1 1 2 2 0 2 0

; Roa 1 1 1 1 0 2

; T--2:39. A--7,474.

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