Dec 23, 2010, 7:56 PM EDT
The Nationals have lost left-hander Aaron Thompson to the Pirates on a waiver claim, a move that brings the club’s 40-man roster back down to its maximum allowable number.
Thompson, 23, went a combined 5-13 with a 5.65 ERA at Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse this season. He was originally acquired by the Nationals in the July 2009 trade that sent Nick Johnson to the Marlins.
Needing to clear a spot on the 40-man roster when outfielder Rick Ankiel signed earlier this week, the Nationals placed Thompson on waivers. Had he cleared, he could have been outrighted to the minors. The Pirates, though, put in a claim and today were awarded Thompson’s rights.
Thus, the Nats’ 40-man roster is now at 40 players again. For those wondering whether they needed to drop another person to make room for right-hander Ryan Mattheus, a club official explained that while Mattheus did sign a major-league contract this fall, he did so before getting outrighted to Syracuse. Basically, he’s a minor-leaguer not on the 40-man roster with a major-league contract.
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