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BRIEF: Minnesota Twins dump Nick Blackburn, Tsuyoshi Nishioka from 40-man roster

John Shipley, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. –

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Twins have outrighted right-hander Nick Blackburn and infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, taking both off the 40-man roster on Monday, Aug. 20. Both players are still in the team’s system but have been through and cleared waivers.

Both will play at Triple-A Rochester.

Blackburn, 30, has been a pitching rotation mainstay since 2009 and signed a four-year, $14 million extension before the 2010 season that will pay him $5.5 million in 2013. Nishioka, 28, signed a three-year, $9.25 million contract in November 2010 after winning the Japan League batting title.

The Twins now have 38 players on the 40-man roster and said they will make a corresponding move to add a player to the active roster on Tuesday. That they cleared space on the 40-man seems to indicate it will be a player who has yet to play for Minnesota, such as right-handed pitcher Esmerling Vasquez.

Team officials were not immediately available for comment.

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