With the New York Yankees needing to add depth to their outfield in the worst way, they went out and made an acquisition that was announced during the home opener to help that part of their team. The club announced that they acquired Trayce Thompson off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers while reliever Ben Heller went on the 60-day disabled list:
Roster Moves: Prior to today’s game, the Yankees acquired OF Trayce Thompson off waivers from Los Angeles-NL and transferred RHP Ben Heller to the 60-day disabled list (right elbow bone spur).
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) April 3, 2018
Thompson has Major League experience as he has played in 151 career games with the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox since 2015. During that time, the 27-year-old right-handed hitter has a split of .233/,310/.445 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI’s. He is the brother of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson.
Back in 2009, the White Sox selected Thompson in the second round of the MLB Draft (41st pick). His best season in the majors came in 2016 when he hit .225 with 13 home runs and 32 RBI’s in 80 games.
While with Triple-A Oklahoma City last year, Thompson did not have the best of numbers in a hitter-friendly league. He had a slash line of .212/.269/.363 with nine home runs and 33 RBI’s. He had a horrible start to the season last year as he went 2-for-44 in April (.045) with one RBI and 19 strikeouts.
Despite the low average in Triple-A, there were some positives to Thompson’s season. Out of the 72 hits that he had, 27 went for extra-bases, including six triples (tied for the team lead with Willie Calhoun).
At this point, the Yankees need all the help they can get in the outfield. Earlier today, manager Aaron Boone made the announcement that Jacoby Ellsbury is not going to be back by Thursday because of a new injury that developed during his rehab:
Jacoby Ellsbury has been shut down with a hip injury. Aaron Boone said that they expect to get Aaron Hicks back before Ellsbury.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 3, 2018
Right now, the Yankees simply need any depth in case they need to give any of the three stars in the outfield (Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge) a day off. While Thompson has played all three outfield positions in his career, he has mainly played center field more than in the corners.
This is a good move by the Yankees to claim a player on waivers without having to give anything up and to take a chance on a player that was a second-round pick almost a decade ago that can hit for some power and can turn any double into a triple with his speed.