The White Sox today activated outfielder Trayce Thompson from the 60-day injured list, adding him back to their roster. They had plenty of openings after trading away several players prior to this week’s trade deadline. Their 40-man count is now up to 38.
Thompson, 32, returned to his original organization this week, coming to the Sox as part of the deal that sent Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly to the Dodgers. The outfielder was drafted by the White Sox in 2009 but went into journeyman status as a big leaguer, bouncing to the Dodgers, Yankees, Athletics, back to the White Sox, Cleveland, the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Padres. Most of those stops saw him struggle, either due to injuries or underperformance or both.
Last year, he returned to the Dodgers for a second time and finally was able to stay healthy and productive for a decent stretch. He got into 74 games of Dodger baseball and hit 13 home runs, slashing .268/.364/.537 for a wRC+ 153. He was also graded well for his defense, playing all three outfield slots, leading to a tally of 2.8 wins above replacement from FanGraphs.
That showing was strong enough that the Dodgers tendered him an arbitration contract for 2023, settling on a salary of $1.45MM. Unfortunately, things haven’t been going as well this year, as he hit .155/.310/.366 for a 91 wRC+ through early June before landing on the IL due to a left oblique strain, an injury that he has just now returned from.
The White Sox are out of contention this year and just sold off a number of pieces at the deadline, so they can give Thompson some time to get back on track. He’s in today’s lineup, batting sixth and playing center field as Luis Robert Jr. takes the day off. They also have Andrew Benintendi, Eloy Jiménez and Óscar Colás in the outfield mix, though Jiménez mostly serves as the designated hitter and each guy will likely get some days off as the non-competitive season winds down. Thompson is out of options but the Sox can retain him via arbitration for two more seasons beyond this one if they so choose.