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Friday, January 12, 2007
Nationals sign Ps Jerome Williams, Brandon Claussen


WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals signed once-promising pitchers Jerome Williams and Brandon Claussen on Friday.

Williams, a 25-year-old righthander, signed a one-year contract at undisclosed financial terms. Last season, he was 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA in just five appearances for the Chicago Cubs before being sent to the minor leagues and ultimately waived.

A 1999 first-round pick, Williams is 23-24 with a 4.03 ERA in 70 career games, including 65 starts, over four seasons with San Francisco and Chicago.

Claussen, a 27-year-old lefthander, was signed to a minor league deal. In August, he had surgery to repair a small tear in his left rotator cuff.

Once a top prospect, Claussen has spent four seasons in the big leagues, going 16-27 with a 5.04 ERA in 58 starts for the New York Yankees and Cincinnati, where he spent the last three campaigns. Last year, he was 3-8 with a 6.19 ERA in 14 starts.

The Nationals also named Lee Kuntz athletic trainer Friday. Kuntz spent the last four seasons as minor league rehabilitation coordinator for the Cleveland Indians.