Detroit Tigers sign Trayce Thompson, brother of Klay Thompson, to minor-league contract

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers signed outfielder Trayce Thompson, the younger brother of three-time NBA champion Klay Thompson, to a minor-league contract Thursday and sent him to Triple-A Toledo.

Thompson, 31, has played 223 games for five teams in parts of six MLB seasons, with a career .205 batting average, 26 home runs, 28.6% strikeout rate and 9.5% walk rate.

He most recently played six games for the San Diego Padres in 2022, before he was designated for assignment May 10. He went 1-for-14 (.071) with two walks and seven strikeouts.

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Thompson cleared waivers and elected free agency May 14, rather than accepting an assignment to Triple-A El Paso in the Padres’ organization.

The Tigers signed Thompson to provide outfield depth, considering Austin Meadows (vertigo), Victor Reyes (right quad strain) and Riley Greene (fractured right foot) are on the injured list. Akil Baddoo, currently with Triple-A Toledo, hasn’t played since May 13 due to oblique soreness.

There are three true outfielders on Detroit’s roster: Robbie Grossman, Derek Hill and Daz Cameron. Utility players Willi Castro and Harold Castro can play the outfield, and backup catcher Eric Haase has experience in left field.

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Thompson can play all three outfield positions.

And he has plenty of reps in the majors.

The Chicago White Sox drafted Thompson, a right-handed hitter, with the No. 61 overall pick in 2009. He made his MLB debut in August 2015 for the White Sox, appearing in 44 games that season.

Thompson has played for the White Sox (2015, 2018), Los Angeles Dodgers (2016-17), Oakland Athletics (2018), Chicago Cubs (2021) and Padres (2022). He spent the 2019 season with Triple-A Columbus, an affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians.

To go with 223 games in the big leagues, Thompson has logged 1,072 games in 12 minor league seasons and batted .236. He first reached the Triple-A level in 2012.

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Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzoldRead more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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