The Twins told Joe Nathan they couldn't justify a $12.5 million salary for him in 2012. So who will be the Twins' closer next season?

"Obviously, (Glen) Perkins is going to be a candidate," said Nathan, 36, who will receive a $2 million buyout and soon head for the open market.

"I'm sure (the Twins) will be looking around the free-agent market as well. That's something they're probably looking to save some money on, as much as (I) would have cost."

During his eight seasons with the Twins, Nathan earned $53.3 million.

"I think I'm in a situation now where, (although) the money is important, for me, ultimately it's about winning, trying to help a club out that's going to make it to the postseason," he said. "From there, we'll try to work out as far as years and stuff and go down that road."

Can the Twins return to contention next season?

"I hope so," Nathan said. "I just find it really hard to believe that club has done a complete 180 in one season. A lot of things happened (this season) that were out of a lot of people's control.