The White Sox made a pair of surprising moves Thursday, sending one player out of town and bringing a familiar face back to the organization.
Infielder Tyler Saladino was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations, and outfielder Trayce Thompson was acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics, the White Sox sending cash considerations to the A’s in that deal.
Saladino spent the last four seasons on the South Side, putting up a .231/.281/.330 career slash line in his 246 games in a White Sox uniform. Despite his versatility on the infield, he didn’t have much room to play this season, with Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson and Yolmer Sanchez firmly in place at second base, shortstop and third base, respectively. Saladino made just nine plate appearances in the team’s first 15 games this season.
The 27-year-old Thompson, meanwhile, was just designated for assignment by the A’s, who the White Sox just concluded a three-game set with Wednesday. Thompson made his major league debut with the White Sox in 2015 and played 44 games that season, slashing .295/.363/.533. He was then traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the three-team deal that brought Todd Frazier to the South Side.
He started spring training this year with the Dodgers before getting designated for assignment, claimed by the New York Yankees and then claimed by the A’s. He had seven plate appearances with Oakland.
The White Sox did not announce whether or not Thompson will take Saladino’s vacated spot on the 25-man roster. The White Sox have been using Leury Garcia as their fourth outfielder in addition to Nicky Delmonico, Adam Engel and Avisail Garcia. Without Saladino, the White Sox would initially seem to have no reserve infielder, though Leury Garcia has the versatility to play on the infield, as well, meaning Thompson could be the team’s new fourth outfielder and Leury Garcia its new backup infielder.
For the rebuilding White Sox, Thompson becomes another young player who could perform well enough to impress the front office and work himself into consideration for its long-term plans. While the minor leagues is bursting at the seams with talent outfield prospects — Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Luis Alexander Basabe, Blake Rutherford, Luis Gonzalez, Ryan Cordell, Charlie Tilson and Daniel Palka — perhaps Thompson can take advantage of a new opportunity and add his name to that list.