As Klay celebrates title, LA brings in Trayce

June 21st, 2022

With superstar outfielder Mookie Betts out for at least a couple of weeks with a right rib fracture, the Dodgers spent the last 24 hours looking to add a right-handed-hitting outfielder to their roster.

On Monday, the Dodgers acquired outfielder from the Tigers in exchange for cash considerations. Thompson was added to the team's active roster before Tuesday's game against the Reds, with lefty Caleb Ferguson placed on the injured list with left forearm tendinitis. Walker Buehler, who will be out about three months, was moved to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40-man roster spot.

Until Betts is able to return, Thompson's role with the Dodgers will be against left-handed pitching. He'll also serve as a late-inning defensive replacement, particularly when Eddy Alvarez gets a start in right field.

Alvarez, who struggled defensively on Sunday in just his second career start in right field, will get most of the starts against right-handed pitching. Zach McKinstry, who was recalled on Sunday, will also get increased playing time.

The Dodgers considered calling up outfield prospect James Outman, who is on the 40-man roster. Outman hasn't played above Double-A and the Dodgers valued consistent at-bats at this point in his development. Miguel Vargas, perhaps the best pure hitter in the farm system, was also considered, but the 22-year-old can't play the outfield.

Jake Lamb, who has been tearing up Triple-A pitching with 15 homers and 48 RBIs, wouldn't have much opportunity given that he's another left-handed option.

After weighing their options, the Dodgers felt a reunion with Thompson was in their best interest. By not giving up a prospect, the move is low risk. Once Betts returns to the lineup, Thompson could be another useful bench option or he could give the organization more depth in the Minors.

Thompson, who played 107 games for the Dodgers from 2016-17, started the season with the Padres before getting designated for assignment. Since then, Thompson has been with Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers' system. In 41 games in the Minors this season, Thompson has hit 17 home runs and has an OPS of 1.086.

His success hasn't always translated to the Majors, however. Thompson went 1-for-14 with the Padres this season. Last season, Thompson hit .250 with four homers in 15 games with the Cubs.

Thompson is also the younger brother of four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson, who was celebrating the Warriors' championship with a parade around San Francisco on Monday.