Nathan, who turns 39 on Nov. 22, has 341 career saves.
"Joe has been outstanding, and my expectation is that there are other teams that have a bigger need in the bullpen and can put more resources toward it," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We look at it as we have other areas that are a higher priority on how we allocate our resources. We have more candidates in the bullpen than at other positions we need to address. We were up front with them and told them they needed to factor that into their decision."
Lefty Johan Santana is no longer a Met after the club bought out his $25 million option for $5.5 million, while shortstop Derek Jeter will remain in the Bronx after agreeing to a one-year, $12 million deal.
Here's a full roundup of news and notes from Friday's happenings:
• The Red Sox picked up Jon Lester's $13 million option.
• MLB.com's Bill Chastain runs down a list of players the Rays need to make decisions on, including second baseman Ben Zobrist, shortstop Yunel Escobar and outfielder David DeJesus.
• The Tigers had a busy day. Detroit declined its option on reliever Jose Veras and lost outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo and left-handed reliever Darin Downs to the D-backs and Astros, respectively, via waivers.
• The White Sox exercised their $4 million club option on reliever Matt Lindstrom.
• The Indians declined their option on outfielder Jason Kubel, putting him in the free-agent market with Jimenez.
• The A's exercised their options on lefty Brett Anderson and outfielder Coco Crisp, while declining those of Kurt Suzuki and Chris Young.
• As previously mentioned, Nathan opted to become a free agent.
• The Mariners declined their options on outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and starter Joe Saunders.
• Matt Williams was formally introduced as Nationals manager. Players like what they hear about Williams, who also finalized his coaching staff. MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby writes that Nats GM Mike Rizzo is putting his faith in the first-time skipper.
• MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch breaks down the Carlos Beltran situation.
• The Cubs' managerial search continues, this time with Brad Ausmus.
• Rodriguez is returning to the Pirates.
• The D-backs announced changes and promotions to their coaching staff. Dave McKay was named first-base coach, while bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock was promoted to third-base coach, and assistant hitting coach Turner Ward was bumped up to hitting coach. Alan Trammell remains as bench coach.
• There's no new news regarding the Giants' Javier Lopez and Ryan Vogelsong.