The Los Angeles Dodgers trade for Trayce Thompson, fulfilling a search to find a right-handed hitting outfielder who could be part of a platoon while Mookie Betts is on the 10-day injured list due to a fractured rib. The Detroit Tigers received cash considerations.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Sunday’s loss that Eddy Alvarez, Gavin Lux and Zach McKinstry would receive starts when facing a right-handed pitcher. Alvarez struggled defensively in the series finale against the Cleveland Guardians, and took responsibility for the loss.
Thompson is back with the Dodgers after last playing for the club in 2017. Over parts of two seasons with L.A., he hit a combined .207/.287/.407 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs and 34 RBI in 107 games.
Thompson joined the Dodgers organization as part of a three-team trade with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox in December 2015. The focal point of the Dodgers’ haul at the time was pitching prospect Frankie Montas, who was ultimately packaged in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.
A strong showing in 2016 Spring Training and Andre Ethier’s injury led to Thompson making the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. He swung the bat well through May of that season, hitting .266/.333/.514 with six doubles, seven home runs and 19 RBI.
But Thompson suffered what was ultimately discovered to be multiple fractured vertebrae in his back, and he didn’t play after July 10, 2016. The complex injury wound up derailing his time with the organization.
Thompson was eased into Spring Training the following year but never quite found his footing. He began the season a combined 0-for-38 with the Dodgers and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Then out of Minor League options in 2018, Thompson was designated for assignment.
He was claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees, who in turn attempted to pass him through waivers. The A’s then added Thompson to their organization, but he appeared in just three games before getting DFA’d once again and traded to the White Sox.
Thompson didn’t play in the Majors in 2019 or 2020, and only appeared in 15 games for the Chicago Cubs last year. He played in six games for the San Diego Padres this season but struggled and was designated for assignment in May.
He went on to sign a Minor League contract with the Tigers and was assigned to their Triple-A Toledo affiliate. Thompson hit .299/.352/.639 with seven doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBI across 25 games with the Mud Hens.
Dodgers need additional move for Thompson
Assuming the Dodgers will want to add Thompson to their active roster, they will be required to first make room on their 40-man roster. That simply could be achieved by transferring Walker Buehler to the 60-day injured list as he is not expected to return until late in the season.
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