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Thompson's career circles back to South Side

White Sox reacquire former second-rounder from A's for cash, trade Saladino to Brewers
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Trayce Thompson never wanted to leave the White Sox, the team selecting him in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft but also the team trading him to the Dodgers in '15 as part of a three-way deal that sent Todd Frazier to Chicago.

"Getting traded from here, I was devastated," Thompson said. "These guys took a chance on me when I was a teenager, and they stuck with me when I was not good in the Minor Leagues. They always believed in me, so I always hope for the best for this organization."

CHICAGO -- Trayce Thompson never wanted to leave the White Sox, the team selecting him in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft but also the team trading him to the Dodgers in '15 as part of a three-way deal that sent Todd Frazier to Chicago.

"Getting traded from here, I was devastated," Thompson said. "These guys took a chance on me when I was a teenager, and they stuck with me when I was not good in the Minor Leagues. They always believed in me, so I always hope for the best for this organization."

As of Thursday night, Thompson once again will be providing his best for the organization. The right-handed hitting Thompson, who produced 16 extra-base hits and a .295 average over 135 plate appearances during his 2015 White Sox debut, returned home to the South Side of Chicago when the White Sox acquired Thompson from the A's for cash considerations. Thompson, the brother of the NBA's Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson, has bounced around a little this season.

Video: OAK@LAD: Klay Thompson reacts to Trayce's HR robbery

He started Spring Training with the Dodgers but was designated for assignment, then was claimed off waivers by the Yankees and then by the A's. The 27-year-old played in three games for Oakland, going 1-for-7 at the plate, before being designated for assignment on Tuesday while the White Sox were in Oakland.

In his Major League career, Thompson has hit .232/.307/.440 with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs in 154 games. He should have a chance to compete for playing time with Adam Engel, a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder presently hitting .179 with a .488 OPS.

"Yeah, it's gonna evolve here over the coming weeks," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn of Thompson's role. "He's gonna provide an option at all three outfield positions, and certainly at the bare minimum he'll provide some defensive assistance late in ballgames."

Thompson takes the place of infielder Tyler Saladino on the active roster, with Saladino being traded to the Brewers for cash considerations Thursday. Saladino, 28, had spent his four-year career with the White Sox and played in six games this season, including three starts. He was 2-for-8 with a double, and in his career, Saladino has hit .231/.281/.330 with 12 home runs and 68 RBIs in 246 games.

Video: TB@CWS: Saladino picks up his first hit of the season

"I had the fans in mind every day and worked my hardest to make them proud one way or another," Saladino told MLB.com of his time in Chicago.

Saladino hit .282 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 2016, but battled back problems he feared at times were career-ending in '17. He came back healthy and earned an '18 Opening Day roster spot with the White Sox.

The White Sox still have a three-person bench made up of catcher Omar Narvaez, Thompson and Leury Garcia, who figures to be the team's primary utility infielder. This pair of moves leaves the White Sox 40-man roster at 40, with Thompson back in the spot he never wanted to depart.

"Yesterday was a good [call]," Hahn said. "We get to welcome a guy back who a lot of people not only like and respect as a person, but know what he's potentially capable of doing as a player. It was a much easier call yesterday than it was a few Decembers back."

"I was terrible last year," Thompson said. "I have to prove that I'm the same guy I was before that and I think I'm ready to. I had a full offseason to work out and get ready, so I'm ready to go."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Chicago White Sox, Tyler Saladino, Trayce Thompson