The Angels announced Monday that they’ve claimed corner outfielder Dillon Thomas off waivers from the Astros and assigned him to Triple-A Salt Lake. Righty Kyle Barraclough was designated for assignment in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
Thomas makes his return to the Halos, with which he signed a minor league contract over the winter. He spent much of the season in Salt Lake, hitting .295/.398/.489 with eight home runs through 211 trips to the plate. That earned him a big league call a few weeks back, but he was designated for assignment after a lone appearance.
The 29-year-old landed with his hometown Astros via waivers, but his stint in the Houston organization didn’t last much longer than his initial stay on the Halos’ 40-man roster. He was immediately optioned to Triple-A by the Astros and designated for assignment after just five outings there. Thomas didn’t appear in an MLB game with Houston and now heads back to the organization with which he began the 2021 season.
An 11-year minor league veteran, Thomas only has five games of big league experience (four with last year’s Mariners, one with Anaheim). He owns an impressive upper minors track record and is only in his second option year, though, making him an interesting upper level depth player for clubs. Thomas will hope for a more lasting stay on the Angels’ roster this time around.
Barraclough was also an offseason minor league signee. The reliever was an excellent late-game weapon for the Marlins early in his career, but he’s struggled with his control and home runs in recent years. He’s bounced around the league in journeyman fashion going back to 2019. That included a ten-game stint with the Twins last season, and he appeared in eight games with Anaheim this year after getting called up in early May.
The 32-year-old tossed nine innings of three-run ball, punching out nine while walking four. He averaged just north of 93 MPH on his fastball, right in line with his recent seasons’ work but down about three ticks from his peak days in Miami. The Angels will have a week to trade Barraclough or place him on waivers. He’d have the right to refuse a minor league assignment in favor of free agency if he passes through waivers unclaimed.