Tuesday afternoon, the Yankees announced via Twitter that they have claimed outfielder Trayce Thompson off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a corresponding move, they transferred RHP Ben Heller to the 60 day-DL.
Thompson has played in the MLB for three seasons, one with the White Sox, and the last two with the Dodgers. Thompson started off his career well in 2015, posting an OPS+ of 147 in 122 PA’s with the White Sox.
He was then traded and posted an OPS+ of 96 in 262 PAs with the Dodgers, in 2016. Last year, Thompson struggled, only tallying six hits in 55 PA’s. He also struggled in Triple-A, hitting just .212 in 369 at-bats.
Thompson is out of minor league options, so it seems he will be joining the Yankees in the Bronx, as their fourth outfielder. He can play all outfield positions, so that gives Aaron Boone some flexibility. However, once Hicks or Ellsbury return off the DL, the 27 year-old may find himself right back on waivers.
For Heller, this is a tough break as he could have contributed in the bullpen at some point during the 2018 campaign. Nonetheless, he finds himself on the DL to start the season. Heller pitched in nine games last year for the Yankees, only allowing a run in 11 innings pitched.