The Los Angeles Dodgers completed their search for a right-handed hitting outfielder by acquiring Trayce Thompson from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for cash considerations.
Thompson was previously in the organization from December 2015 until April 3, 2018, when he was claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees.
During parts of 2016-17, Thompson looked like he could be a key piece for the Dodgers for years to come. But he suffered what was ultimately discovered to be multiple fractured vertebrae in his back, and he didn’t play after July 10, 2017.
Thompson then bounced around with multiple organizations, making stops with the Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres before he signed with the Tigers organization and went to their Triple-A affiliate.
Now that Thompson is back with the Dodgers, where he first started to look like a legitimate Major League player, he is happy to return and see some of his previous teammates again, via SportsNet LA:
“It’s kind of hard to describe. It’s something that I for sure never thought of. It’s just surreal, but it’s good to see a lot of familiar faces and some few faces obviously since the last time I was here. I’m excited. Excited to be a Major Leaguer, excited to be with a team and some of the same group of guys I spent a lot of time with, and obviously a really good team. So I’m just excited to be here and try to see what I can do to help these guys.”
The 31-year-old hit .299/.352/.639 with seven doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBI across 25 games with the Toledo Mud Hens before being acquired by the Dodgers. But perhaps most importantly, he looked healthy for the first time in years, so he’s hoping to pick up where he last left off before the injury with the Dodgers:
“It’s kind of a full-circle moment. I feel like Andrew (Friedman) and these guys have always known what I’m capable of. I feel like the last couple years I started to make some good baseball adjustments and I feel like this year it’s kind of all come to fruition. For them to kind of keep notice of me means a lot. And for them to obviously bring me along just means a lot. I want to prove them right and prove myself right to everybody.”
Thompson will likely have at least two weeks to prove he can be a valuable bench piece for the Dodgers. But once Mookie Betts returns, they will need to make a decision on keeping their newly acquired outfielder, trying to send him to Triple-A, or designating him for assignment.
Over parts of two seasons with L.A., Thompson hit a combined .207/.287/.407 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs and 34 RBI in 107 games. Over parts of six MLB seasons, he is a career .205/.280/.397 hitter with 26 home runs.
Dodgers looking for offensive consistency
The Dodgers lineup features a bevy of All-Stars, but the offense collectively has been inconsistent — especially as of late, which coincides with the club dropping 11 of their last 19 games.
While the Dodgers rank in the top five in several offensive categories, the team has struggled to consistently put runs on the board during the skid. Since May 30, L.A. has been shut out twice but they also have scored as many as 11 runs in a game.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently blamed the slump on the club straying away from focusing on what’s best for the team in favor of individual statistics. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman agreed with that sentiment but also noted the lineup has lacked consistency.
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