The Athletics announced that they claimed right-hander Rich Thompson off of waivers from the Angels. The A's will announce a corresponding move once Thompson reports to Oakland.
The Angels designated the native of Australia for assignment six days ago, apparently because his velocity had dropped and they no longer trusted him in high-leverage situations. Thompson's average fastball has been checking in at 89 mph so far in 2012, according to FanGraphs. Last year, he averaged 90.7 mph and he was hovering above 92 mph in 2009-10.
The 27-year-old struggled through two appearances this year, but posted a 3.00 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 54 innings a year ago. It's not surprising that the Athletics put in a claim -- they had an open 40-man roster spot and Thompson pitched quite well as recently as 2011.