Padres claim Laforest; Oxspring sold

The San Diego Padres claimed catcher Pete Laforest off waivers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and have sold the contract of right-handed pitcher Chris Oxspring to the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese Central League.

Pete Laforest, 27, batted .172 (11-for-64) with one home run, three doubles and four RBI in 25 games with Tampa Bay in 2005. He opened the season with the Devil Rays' Triple-A Durham affiliate where he hit .270 (73-for-270) with 21 home runs, 18 doubles, 52 RBI and 41 runs scored. His home run total was the second-highest of any catcher in the International League last season. Over parts of two Major League seasons with the Devil Rays (2003, 2005), Laforest has a career batting average of .170 (19-for-112) with one homer and 10 RBI in 44 games. Originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 16th round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft, Laforest has a career minor league batting average of .258 (617-for-2387) with 101 homers, 143 doubles and 374 RBI in 681 games between the Montreal (1995) and Tampa Bay (1997-2005) organizations.

Chris Oxspring, 28, appeared in five games with the Padres with no record and a 3.75 ERA (5 ER/12.0 IP) and 11 strikeouts. Over parts of five minor league seasons in the Padres organization (2001-05), Oxspring has a 32-18 record with a 3.60 ERA (197 ER/493.0 IP) and 457 strikeouts in 152 games (65 starts).

With the addition of Laforest, the Padres 40-man roster now stands at 35.

Jack Cust was also signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, a move first announced by

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