Nationals' Rasner claimed by Yanks

Nationals' Rasner claimed by Yanks

WASHINGTON -- With the signing of catcher/first baseman Matt LeCroy on Wednesday, the Nationals placed right-hander Darrell Rasner on waivers, and on Friday, he was claimed by the Yankees.

Washington saw Rasner, 25, as no more than a fifth starter had he stayed with the team.

Rasner, who was drafted by the Expos in 2002, received a September callup last season. He pitched in five games, including one start, and had a 3.68 ERA.

After pitching in relief on Sept. 11, Rasner didn't play in another game until Oct. 1. Rasner admitted that it bothered him that he was inactive.

"It really bugged me," he said. "I didn't know how to take that. I didn't know if I didn't fit in with the organization or what. I was kind of surprised."

There were some in the Nationals organization who were concerned about Rasner's arm. Before he was drafted, Rasner threw a 90-plus mph fastball. Now he throws in the mid-80s.

Asked if there was something wrong with his arm, Rasner said, "Absolutely not. My arm has felt the same as it always has. I'm not trying to throw as hard. My main concern is getting guys out. To be honest, I could care less what radar gun says."

In other news, the Nationals agreed to terms with outfielder Kenny Kelly and right-handers Kyle Denney and Santiago Ramirez on Minor League contracts that include invitations to Spring Training. The club also agreed to terms on Minor League contracts with right-hander Beltran Perez and infielder Melvin Dorta.

Of the five, Kelly was the only one who played for the Nationals last season. Kelly, 27, appeared in 17 games as a defensive replacement, pinch-runner and pinch-hitter after being claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on July 20.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.