The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

July 17, 2013

Jones: 'Respect' for hard-throwing Chapman

(Continued)

Not only does he have 21 saves and a 1.82 ERA, he's struck out 47 and walked just seven in 34 2-3 innings. Plus, he's a lefty.

That's why Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan said last weekend at Yankee Stadium that almost any team would love to have Perkins, and it will be difficult to pry him away from the struggling Twins. But that doesn't mean Perkins, an All-Star for the first time this season, isn't aware of speculation that he could be moved within the next two weeks.

"I guess I pay attention to it. I don't take it for anything of value, I guess," he said. "I guess I learned last year, it was kind of the same story and nothing happened. I mean, I want to be a Twin, so I guess that's all I can do is go out and try to perform for them."

The 30-year-old Perkins has a contract that guarantees him at least $10.3 million from 2013-15.

"I guess it's more stuff that you think about when you're not at the field or when you're not in a game," he said about the trade rumors. "When I'm out there pitching, I'm not thinking that I'm auditioning or anything like that. So you kind of just go about your business and if something happens, it happens."

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CLOSING TIME: Joe Nathan never expected to be pitching for a save. Not with baseball's career saves leader alongside him in the bullpen.

The Rangers closer was called upon to finish off the American League's 3-0 win Tuesday night in the All-Star game at Citi Field after Mariano Rivera came on for the eighth inning.

"I didn't know I was coming in to close until I was actually coming in from the bullpen," Nathan said.

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