The Padres recently signed outfielder Trayce Thompson and corner infielder/outfielder Brandon Dixon to minor league contracts, according to Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America. It’s the first season in the organization for both players, who each have a few years of big league experience.
Thompson has played in a little more than 200 MLB games between four teams. He broke in with the White Sox in 2015, posting an excellent small-sample showing as a rookie. He was traded to the Dodgers as part of a three-team deal that offseason — one which, coincidentally, saw Los Angeles send Dixon to Cincinnati. He tallied a career-high 262 plate appearances with Los Angeles that season, hitting .225/.302/.436, but he saw only sporadic action over the next couple years.
After appearing in 27 games with L.A. in 2017, he bounced from the Yankees to the A’s and back to the White Sox via waivers and minor trade the following year. He spent the next couple seasons at Triple-A before resurfacing in the big leagues with the Cubs last September. Thompson only tallied 35 plate appearances with the North Siders last season, but he popped four homers and had a solid .233/.344/.492 showing in 88 games with Triple-A Iowa, where he played all three outfield positions.
Dixon has spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues. He debuted with the Reds in 2018, a few years after they acquired him in the aforementioned deal with Los Angeles. Cincinnati waived him that winter, and he landed with the Tigers, receiving a good chunk of MLB playing time during the 2019 season. Dixon hit .248/.290/.435 with 15 homers over 420 PA and 117 games with Detroit that year, but then appeared in only five big-league contests in 2020.
The next step was a move outside of North American ball entirely, as Dixon headed to Japan in 2021 to play with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Dixon roughly split his time between the Eagles and their top minor league affiliate, and struggled to only a .167/.268/.324 slash line in 123 PA for the Sendai-based team.
The two minor league deals give the Padres some additional depth options to choose from during Spring Training. While rumors continue to swirl about how San Diego could upgrade their outfield, Jurickson Profar remains the top option for left field at-bats, and Thompson has more defensive flexibility than another non-roster invitee in Nomar Mazara. Dixon has also spent a lot of his time as a corner outfielder, and brings added versatility due to his experience at first, second, and third base.
Wow Preller going nuts again!!
I’m going to be unusually harsh:
Even if Profar were to somehow learn to hit, the Pads have no depth in OF. Profar’s value is as a utility guy. At some point injuries, fatigue, etc… will take a toll and they have no proven OF to step in. I really don’t get what the plan is. Mazara? Thompson? Alfaro?
If they honestly want to compete for playoffs they must field a legitimate MLB OF, and those 3 wont cut it. With double the payroll from 5 years ago (OF Margot, Myers Renfroe) you’d think the OF wouldn’t now be one of the worst in baseball?
Alfaro was solid in left in a small sample last year. Let him start the year out there, if it isn’t working, aj can make a trade well before the deadline.
Ha-Seong- get your outfield mitt ready! Go shag some balls and quickly learn LF!
Me no speak english
Alfaro has 18 games of experience in OF so small sample size, but he’s rated subpar defensively there. He has a career OPS+ of 88, I guess they could always hope for a sudden turnaround, but yikes. Melvin has also insisted he won’t play OF and will instead be C backup (where he’s also poor defensively).
is Nola going to be a super-sub?
DarkSide- He’s our #1 catcher and we’re probably going to carry 3; he’ll get at-bats around the diamond to keep him fresh and his bat in play. Super-sub might be Profar (minus the super…) now that Ha-Seong and is the presumed replacement for Tatis.
Not unusually harsh but rather poignant, Brewer. I’ve been lambasting our lack of OF moves myself; an Alfaro, Nomar, Profar and Nola LF just screams of inadequate planning. We come this far in roster construction… just to Peter out because we’re 5m from the CBT? I feel like we went cheap all of a sudden… I hope I’m wrong here…
I have to wonder if a lot of their offseason planning was predicated by the (unlikely) unloading of Hosmer $, but the dominos weren’t set up well for a plan B.
I think Profar is going to play LF not so much because they like him there, but because Hosmer deals fell through, AND Abrams is forcing him (Profar) out of his IF/OF utility role.
So, what will they do if Abrams breaks camp on team? He’ll need to start if he is, and once Tatis returns there’s really no room in the IF for both Kim and Profar (assuming Profar isn’t the answer in the OF), and what role does Abrams play then? Some say nice problem to have, but not when you consider how much Kim and Profar are being paid. Really curious how this is going to play out… I’m guessing that until Abrams is developed as an OF, his days in the minors are not over, only because of contracts that have been committed. Or they trade him and that won’t be popular!
the padres have a superstar outfielder named Fernando Tatis Jr. that has to be the plan, and has to have been the plan all along. He cant stay healthy, its time. any combo, platoon, whatever it takes to get us to that point, so be it.
Valid points and thoughts, Brewer. At this point, I am lead to believe the inability to contract a LFer (or RFer) was due to Hos and Profar’s contracts… and perhaps even Ha-Seong’s thrown into the mix. That’s (roughly) 37m going to… what exactly? A roughshod, barely replacement-level 1 bagger, a punching Judy journeyman without a defensive home (because his glove is sub-par everywhere) and a 2nd year defensive stud that needs to speed up the bat.
My only hope is that Alfaro has turned a new leaf, and while he has looked good on the grass in ST, this approach of “hope and pray” leaves a lot to be desired.
Abrams is ticketed for (probably) El Paso to learn some grass work… it’s “too soon” and the Pads have lots of movable IF components even with Tati down for 3 more months. If he does break camp with the team, that’s great. The simple answer is send him down when Tatis is ready. He has all 3 options.
Maybe the plan is Tati in RF (Myers best position is LF) when he’s back but this approach seems inadequate for the Opening Day roster.
I think Preller was told to suck it up and not go over the CBT for the 2nd straight year; he was probably told to live with his “overpays” and here we are…
yeah that would solve some problems after June, assuming he agrees to not being a SS
I think they’d sell it as a “rehab” on the fly in RF, kinda like last year. “Get healthy Niño, and SS is yours again in ’23.” I don’t know…
Most of the solid FA options out there required long term money, and I don’t think the Padres can structure that now. It’s not only Hos and Myers contracts, Tatis’ ramping up, but they need to buy extensions now for guys like Cronenworth, and maybe Gore if he pans out. Going over the lux tax in 2022 kills draft picks. To sign any one of the top FA’s would have meant causing “firesale” problems in 2023 and beyond, just to stay below the tax. That’s not going cheap. That’s looking forward.
Second, trade options were no better.. Losing Hassell, Abrams, Campu, Gore …. one of those would have been required in any trade that brought back a significant OF piece.
Third, the Padres DO have in house options. Abrams looks ready, and between him, Cronenworth, and Kim, they have the IF handled. When perpetually sore shoulder Tatis returns from his motorcycle sabbatical, if they need him in the OF to win, then that’s where he goes, and he’ll probably be 100% in favor of that for 2022. It’s a sensible move. If Tatis can stay healthy for the rest of 2022, then when salary is cleared (Myers, maybe Hos at $13M /year if they can move him for cash), Tatis can come back in the infield. If not, then he has the off-season surgery he probably should have had last off season, and he’s ready for SS in 2023.
Folks are talking like not pulling in an big ticket FA outfielder is the end of the 2022 season for the Pads. That’s nuts. They lost because of pitching last year. If they have pitching this year, they will win, at least enough to make the playoffs, and at that point, it depends on which teams show up, and which teams are healthy.
The Padres have the pieces on the field to be competitive in 2022. The OF situation is not ideal, but it doesn’t make or break the team. Now, if both Myers and Grisham forget how to hit, they’re the horses the Padres have, and it’s going to be tough offensively. These guys, including Hos, need to step up for the team to win, just like any other team.
Thanks for talking me off the cliff edge, Old Salt. You’re not wrong in anything you said… cheers amigo!
@ Old Salt. I was also hoping they wouldn’t sign a big ticket FA OF for many of the reasons we seem to agree with. But I am surprised they didn’t acquire a lesser option either through trade or FA – a short term deal, given at present they have no MLB-proven option for LF.. Hassell arrives in 23
Tatis made it clear after last year that he’s the SS for many years. So he (and his agent) might not be agreeable to OF move. Unless you’ve heard otherwise, between Tati and CJ, it’s CJ that they were grooming for OF. But not this year. – there wasn’t time for the transformation as he just broke his leg.
didn’t mean to put on you the bluffs at Torrey Pines Gwynning. let’s hope the SP stays healthy and they ride those guys through June.
Pagan as closer scares me more than OF situation
I’m afraid Thompson and Dixon (and Mazara to a certain extent…) are those lesser options you spoke of… and 2 things I don’t want:
1. Losing one of our top 4 prospects now and
2. An eventual fire sale
I’m happy we haven’t painted ourselves into one of those corners. Hold the line!
Almost tee time, gotta go! Great day to all
No idea if there are contractual issues keeping Tatis at SS. Honestly, I cannot believe ANY GM would agree to a $300M+ contract for 14 years, with that kind of limitation rider. No one can forecast the future needs of the team, or Tatis future, physical ability. Again, if it’s expedient healthwise, between Tatis wrist and his 4 or 5 shoulder dislocations last year, and the needs of the team this year, my bet is Tatis plays OF this season, if Abrams proves ready. (Or, you’re telling me the conversation from BoMel goes like this: “Sorry, C.J.. The fact that you’ve hit 15 HR in 3 months, are hitting .375 with an .405 OBP, well, you need OF seasoning because Tatis is returning to play SS. We’re sending you down ….”. Don’t be ridiculous.)
Hassell is going to be a special hitter, IMHO. We’ve see the “can’t miss” prospects miss, but this kid looks legit. Imagine the Padres future if CJ Abrams arrives this year, Hassell next year, Campu eases in this year, and (OMG!! OMG!!) Gore comes in mid-season, living up to expectations? It’ll be “Who are those Dodgers, again?”. (Yeah, I know, the Pads will be lucky if only one of those four makes it, let alone two or more, given the law of averages one prospect success, but one can dream, no?)
Yes one can dream.
Rotation in 2024 wont likely have Darvish, Snell (or Clevinger). I’m guessing it will have Musgrove, Morejon, Martinez & MacKensie G. plus maybe an ace-caliber obtained via trade or FA, preferably with a name that starts with M, Montas? Manaea? one of the many Maxs?
Weathers and Paddack…I dunno..
Great take Old Salt. While the Padres hitting definitely slumped in the 2nd half, it was the pitching staff simply imploding that was the problem.
The hitters went from a .728 OPS with .404 Slg to a .715 OPS with .396 Slg. That didn’t help, but it didn’t torpedo the season either.
The pitching staff went from a 3.46 ERA in the 1st half to a 5.04 ERA in the 2nd half. The pitching was especially horrid in September when they had a 5.75 ERA. The pitching collapse is what did the Padres season in.
Tatis did say in October he intends to play ss, but all you have to do is look at the back of his baseball card to understand why its time.
in 2+ seasons, never got in more than 102 games as shortstop including multiple injuries in the field. 242 games, he has 42 errors. that’s just not good. of course he makes spectacular plays which makes things fun, but staring down a 13 year commitment it just doesnt make sense.
Very well written! You understand the dilemma as it is not an easy fix…
Obviously, IF CJ even makes the team AND rakes then he’s a keeper and you make the more difficult DFA or Option at that time. Would be a nice problem to have, Salt! And no, there are no contractual obligations to Tatis RE: Shortstop PT
Has anything Preller has done screamed adequate planning?
Signing Kim when he had Tatis.
Moving Myers around the diamond to make room for mediocre players.
Trading for Frazier when he had all star Cronenworth
Signing Alfaro when he had 3 catchers on the 40 man
Trading for Nola at all.
I could go on, but you get the gist. Preller is playing fantasy baseball and has no idea about roster construction.
Whatever Preller is up to is baffling. He’s made no attempt to cover for the Tatis injury, and we haven’t replaced our starting OF. Just what is the plan? Or is there not one?
In 4 years, the Padres will sign OF Rob Refsnyder to a minor league deal. At the present, he is still too good and relevant for them.
Jorge Alfaro should be the starting LFer if he continues to hit. Last year, albeit in a small sample of 21 games (18 starts), Alfaro slashed .313/.343/.418 as a left fielder.
Give Alfaro the first shot.
Alfaro is Profar with more power. He is not the answer.
Let’s go Brandon!!
For Love of the Game
lol, you made this lib laugh
Manny is that you?
My Dixon joying this post
Maybe we want Conforto… post-Draft?
Conforto would undoubtedly put the Padres over the tax. Austin Meadows could give the Padres similar performance without going over the tax.
I understand Conforto would put us over the CBT for year 2 running… but there would be no Draft penalty if we sign him post-Draft. It just adds to the end-of-year Tax bill which Mr. Seidler may be trying to avoid this year. We’re skirting a fine-line the whole season if we can’t add payroll (injuries happen, too.)
One of the things that Melvin talks about is synergy in the clubhouse. Conforto is the anti-synergy guy.
Mets players are saying they don’t want him back and he is not well liked around the league. That says all I need to know.
If the Padres can clear Hosmer’s deal from the books by eating most of it mid-season, then make a trade for an OF like Meadows or a rental like Mancini.
The Padres wouldn’t have to clear any payroll to afford the $4 million that Meadows costs. His current trade value is roughly equal to Weathers and less than Paddack. Weathers for Meadows sounds good to me.
If it was just Weathers for 3 years of Meadows then I’d have to assume that deal would already be done (both ways)… or is my instinct way off? I’d love Meadows and miss Weathers (he’s 22)
I think Mancini is strictly a 1B/DH type now… but I love the ideas. Maybe the O’s part with Santander instead? Good stuff gents!
How is Trayce already 31 years old?
That Baseball Fan
My guesses: Preller will hit the waiver wire for an outfielder next week if someone’s available who is better than Thompson or Namara. Caratini may be released despite Darvish’s wishes. He’s the #4 catcher right now. Alternatively, April’s 28-man rosters might mean four catchers and four outfielders.
NO way does Caratini go out the door for nothing. Catching is a premium position. Heck, if Austin Hedges can play MLB ball for a decade, Caratini has a home as a backup one of 29 other teams. Besides, I fully expect to see 3 catchers on the Padres roster, with Campu in AAA. The Pads NEED an catcher available with options, and Campu isn’t ready to start quite yet. A 28 man roster is perfect for adding a couple of extra pitchers, while carrying an extra catcher, particularly since all of them can play an on-field position (I think Caratini played 1B previously; could be wrong, too lazy to look it up).
Caratini is still No. 2 catcher, he’s superior to Alfaro defensively. IF Caratini goes (it would be via trade) it won’t be until Campusano is rostered and that won’t happen till mid-season. They will carry 3 catchers on 28-man squad and gve Nola and Alfaro some days in the field just to keep things fresh.
Campusano would be wasted as 3rd catcher, so he’ll spend part or all of season AAA. He needs some MLB time though before they commit to him in 23, and to get that there will need to be a trade of one of the 3 rostered catchers.
Waiver wire Matt Beaty,please.
Thomas has already played in games for the Padres before this article came out. He is minor league fill.
Thompson looked good in LF against the Dodgers. Bat was slow, he needs time to ramp up in the new duds but I bet he makes the Opening Day 28. This year’s Greg Allen
The Saber-toothed Superfife
Do the other GMs not like Al Avila or something?
Is he a known leper? Why does he not work well with other GMs?