The Los Angeles Dodgers made a roster move on Tuesday as they claimed right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and designated outfielder Trayce Thompson for assignment in a corresponding move.
Thompson was not only a fan favorite but popular in the clubhouse in his two years in the Dodgers organization. “It was a tough, tough decision,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of exposing Thompson to waivers.
“Trayce does a lot of things well. Just where our roster is and an opportunity for him, or lack thereof, wasn’t going to happen. And obviously being out of options we had a tough decision to make, and also with Trayce, he’s a guy that needs to go out there and play.
“We’ve talked about it a little before, where he had his success with us here it was a two-month spurt where he got to play a lot on a nightly basis and we just didn’t see that for him right now, so we had to make that decision.”
As Roberts noted, Thompson is out of Minor League options, so he either had to be included on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster or be designated for assignment.
If Thompson clears waivers then he can remain in the organization, which Roberts said he would love to happen. Although, he is hopeful that Thompson gets a Major League opportunity elsewhere. “That’s our hope. He did a lot of great things for us,” Roberts said. “What a tremendous baseball player, person. Did a lot of things well.
“So yeah, I think there’s some interest in him so we obviously wish Trayce all the best. And you never know if for some reason he does clear then we have an opportunity to get him back.”
Part of the reason that the Dodgers did not have a roster spot available for Thompson is because of the glut of outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart. Roberts conceded Joc Pederson and Andrew Toles are better options.
“I think one part of it or a big part of it is that Joc’s got a longer track record, has performed at a higher level for longer,” he explained.
“And then with Andrew, his ability to not have to play every day, more simple swing and mechanics-wise. For one of those guys to not be in there every day, I think Andrew has a better chance than unfortunately Trayce.”
As it currently stands, Kyle Farmer is the biggest beneficiary with Thompson no longer in the picture, as he and Pederson were awarded the final two Opening Day roster spots with Toles being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.