Padres sign Tomko; Hampson optioned

The San Diego Padres today agreed to terms on a contract with right-handed pitcher Brett Tomko. The club also optioned left-handed pitcher Justin Hampson to Triple-A Portland. Additionally, San Diego announced catcher Colt Morton has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Double-A San Antonio.

Brett Tomko, 35, was 2-7 with a 6.97 ERA (47 ER/60.2 IP), 40 strikeouts and 13 walks in 16 games (10 starts) with the Kansas City Royals this season before he was designated for assignment on June 12. A native of Poway, Calif., Tomko previously pitched for the Padres in 2002 and part of the 2007 campaign. In 39 career appearances (36 starts) overall with San Diego, Tomko is 12-11 with a 4.51 ERA (116 ER/231.2 IP). Originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 1995 Draft, Tomko is 95-99 with two saves and a 4.70 ERA (904 ER/1731.2 IP) in 362 career games (260 starts) over parts of 12 seasons with the Reds (1997-99), Seattle Mariners (2000-01), Padres (2002, 2007), St. Louis Cardinals (2003), San Francisco Giants (2004-05), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-07) and Royals (2008).

The 28-year-old Justin Hampson is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA (7 ER/8.2 IP) in 10 relief appearances with the Padres this season. He began the season on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis and was reinstated on June 2. In a rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Lake Elsinore from May 19-30, he tossed 6.0 scoreless innings with four strikeouts over five relief outings. Claimed off waivers by San Diego from Colorado on October 11, 2006, Hampson is 3-4 with a 4.01 ERA (33 ER/74.0 IP), 51 strikeouts and 23 walks over 54 career Major League appearances (one start) with the Rockies (2006) and Padres (2007-08).

Colt Morton, 26, is batting .161 (15-for-93) with four doubles, two home runs, nine RBI and seven runs scored in 26 games for Double-A San Antonio this season. He has been behind the plate in 25 games for the Missions. In two stints with San Diego this season, Morton went 1-for-15 with two walks, one RBI and two runs scored in nine games. He appeared behind the plate in seven of the club's games, including four starts.

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