According to a major league source, the Washington Nationals have re-claimed injured right-hander Cole Kimball from the Toronto Blue Jays. Kimball, who underwent season-ending rotator cuff surgery in July, was claimed by the Blue Jays earlier this week.
The Nationals were trying to pass Kimball through waivers to outright him to the minor leagues and off the team’s 40-man roster when the Blue Jays put in a claim on him on Wednesday. The Blue Jays then tried to do the same thing on Friday — pass Kimball through to the minor leagues — when Washington took the flamethrowing right-hander back.
Kimball will not be able to pitch again until at least the All-Star break after significant surgery to repair his rotator cuff and a rehabilitation process that is expected to be a long and grueling one. Still, the Nationals weren’t prepared to lose Kimball — a reliever they felt had a great major league future just last spring — and thus decided it was worth it to put in the claim to get him back.
Players must be off the 60-day disabled list (where Kimball was) and either on the 40-man roster or in the minor leagues by Friday in order to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, which will take place Dec. 8 in Dallas. With the claim, Kimball goes back on the Nationals’ 40-man (for now anyway) and leaves them with 33 players and seven spots for players to protect from the Rule 5 as well as potential free agent and trade acquisitions.