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12/15/2003  3:16 AM ET
KC obtains Thompson from Padres
Clubs trade Rule 5 Draft selections at Winter Meetings

KANSAS CITY, MO (Dec. 15, 2003) -- The Kansas City Royals have obtained speedy outfielder Rich Thompson from the San Diego Padres organization today in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jason Szuminski and cash in a trade of Rule 5 Draft selections.

Thompson was selected by the Padres from the Nashville roster of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft held this morning in New Orleans at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings.

The Royals then sent Szuminski, their Rule 5 selection from the Iowa roster of the Chicago Cubs, along with cash to San Diego. Thompson, 24, owns a .287 career average in four Minor League seasons. He played for three different teams in 2003, combining for a .293 average with 69 runs, 27 RBI and a career-high 48 stolen bases in 112 games.

The left-handed hitting outfielder began the season with New Haven, Toronto's Double A affiliate in the Eastern League, where he batted .313 in 49 games before earning a promotion to Triple A Syracuse. Thompson posted a .295 average in 28 games for the SkyChiefs before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher John Wasdin on July 8.

He finished the season with Pittsburgh's Triple A affiliate in Nashville, batting .257 with 22 stolen bases in 35 games. Thompson was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the sixth round of the 2000 June Free Agent Draft after playing collegiately at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Thompson's addition brings the Royals Major League roster to 38 players.

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