If you have a rash of injuries in your outfield, why not add a little extra outfield depth, eh?
That’s likely the thinking here, as the Cubs have traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson, who was with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, but is formerly of the big league White Sox, Dodgers, and A’s. The Diamondbacks are getting cash in the deal, which is a reflection of the reality that Thompson, 30, is a depth outfielder at this point in his career.
The #Cubs acquired outfielder Trayce Thompson from Arizona for cash considerations. Thompson was added to Iowa’s roster tonight.
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) May 11, 2021
Thompson, the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson – who was apparently not available – was a former top White Sox prospect, and a second rounder back in 2009. In his mid-20s, when he was getting some big league time, Thompson was an excellent defensive outfielder who can play all over, but who pretty much stopped hitting. At Triple-A in 2019, his last full season, Thompson hit just .219/.294/.482 (90 wRC+) with a 36.1% K rate. You might remember him as one of the players in that big 2015 White-Sox-Dodgers-Reds trade that sent Thompson, along with Micah Johnson and Frankie Montas, to the Dodgers, with Todd Frazier going to the White Sox, and José Peraza, Brandon Dixon, and Scott Schebler going to the Reds. Boy, in hindsight that actually didn’t wind up being much of a trade. It sure was big at the time!
Thompson was with the Indians organization at Triple-A in 2019, and had played a handful of games at Triple-A for the Diamondbacks this year before the Cubs came callin’. I wonder if the Cubs had any additional outfield injuries at Iowa this week? Otherwise, Thompson joins a primary group of Rafael Ortega, Cameron Maybin, and Ian Miller, with D.J. Artis having been called up from the lower levels as a fill-in. Infielders Patrick Wisdom and Trent Giambrone can also play the corner outfield spots.
In any case, Thompson will join the group of outfielders at Iowa, extra depth in case of further injuries, and/or if the Cubs were to lose an outfielder like Nick Martini in a DFA/waiver process once the other dudes get healthy and roster spots are needed.