The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they have claimed outfielder Kevin Thompson off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. The announcement was made by Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager, Neal Huntington.
Thompson, 28, spent a majority of the 2007 season with Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, where he hit .281 with 18 doubles, five home runs, 37 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 77 games. He also batted .190 (4-for-21) in 13 games with the New York Yankees
, knocking in a pair of runs with a double in his season debut on April 10 at Minnesota. Thompson was designated for assignment on September 1 and was claimed off waivers on September 7 by Oakland, where he made nine appearances during the final month of the season.
The right-handed hitter was originally selected by the Yankees in the 31st round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. He spent seven years in New York's minor league system before making his major league debut with the Yankees on June 3, 2006 at Baltimore. Thompson batted .300 in 19 games with the Yankees in 2006 and hit his first major league home run on June 10 off Oakland's Kirk Saarloos. In his big league career, Thompson has made 16 appearances in right field, 10 in left field and eight in center field.
To make room for Thompson on the 40-man roster, the Pirates have designated infielder/outfielder Matt Kata for assignment.