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Rangers former closer Neftali Feliz refuses minor league assignment, becomes free agent

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Neftali Feliz has told the Texas Rangers on Friday he would not accept an outright assignment to the minor leagues, making him a free agent.

The Rangers designated the former All-Star closer for assignment after their game on July 3. They were unable to trade Feliz, and he cleared waivers. As a five-year veteran, he had the right to refuse a minor league assignment.

He saved 40 games in 2010 and won the AL Rookie of the Year award. Feliz then had 32 saves the next season, helping the Rangers reach their only two World Series.

Feliz had Texas within one strike of winning the '11 World Series in six games until St. Louis' David Freese hit a game-tying triple. The Cardinals won in seven games.

Feliz entered this season with a 2.53 career ERA, the lowest in Rangers history for pitchers with more than 200 innings pitched. He lost his closer's job this year after blowing three of nine save opportunities.

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