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Thompson among trio Tribe inks to Minors deals

Players also receive invitations to Spring Training
MLB.com @castrovince

CLEVELAND -- In an annual depth-padding development, the Indians signed a few players to Minor League deals with non-roster invitations to Spring Training on Saturday. Left-hander Josh Smith, outfielder Trayce Thompson and right-hander James Hoyt will all be in the mix in Goodyear, Ariz. Hoyt was non-tendered (i.e. removed from the 40-man roster) by the Tribe on Friday.

Thompson has the most Major League experience of the group, as well as the distinction of being younger brother of Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors -- whom Clevelanders will quickly tell you blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Thompsons' father, Mychal, played 14 seasons in the NBA.

CLEVELAND -- In an annual depth-padding development, the Indians signed a few players to Minor League deals with non-roster invitations to Spring Training on Saturday. Left-hander Josh Smith, outfielder Trayce Thompson and right-hander James Hoyt will all be in the mix in Goodyear, Ariz. Hoyt was non-tendered (i.e. removed from the 40-man roster) by the Tribe on Friday.

Thompson has the most Major League experience of the group, as well as the distinction of being younger brother of Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors -- whom Clevelanders will quickly tell you blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Thompsons' father, Mychal, played 14 seasons in the NBA.

The younger Thompson, 27, played 202 games with the White Sox, Dodgers and A's from 2015-18 and has hit a combined .206 with a .664 OPS while playing all three outfield positions. He opened '18 on the A's roster after being designated for assignment by the Dodgers at the end of Spring Training, then was acquired by the White Sox in a cash deal in April. He finished the season with Triple-A Charlotte.

Smith, 29, spent 2018 bouncing between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox system. He went 9-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 28 games, including 14 starts, for Pawtucket. He also made 10 appearances in the Dominican winter league. He owns a career Minor League ERA of 4.01 in 218 games.

Hoyt, 32, was acquired from the Astros in a minor mid-season trade. He made 65 relief appearances for the Astros in 2016-17 (4.42 ERA in 71 1/3 innings), but spent all but one game of '18 in Triple-A. The Indians never had him on their big league roster. He pitched 2 2/3 innings at Triple-A Columbus before succumbing to a knee injury.

The Indians' other previously announced non-roster invitees are left-hander R.C. Orlan, right-hander Shao-Ching Chiang and infielder Mike Freeman.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Cleveland Indians