Dodgers Trade for Tigers' Trayce Thompson After Mookie Betts' Rib Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 20, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Base runner Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on from second base against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on June 11, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired some outfield help with star Mookie Betts on the injured list because of a cracked rib.

Los Angeles announced Monday that it traded cash considerations to the Detroit Tigers for Trayce Thompson.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic previously reported the National League West team was interested in a right-handed-hitting outfielder who would come at "minimal prospect cost."

Rosenthal noted any newly acquired player could platoon with Eddy Alvarez in right field, though another option was to promote the highly regarded Miguel Vargas to provide more pop to the lineup.

It appears Thompson will be that initial addition after the outfielder appeared in six games for the San Diego Padres earlier this season. Thompson, who is the younger brother of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, is slashing .205/.280/.397 with 26 home runs and 70 RBI in 223 games during his career.

While this provides depth, the Dodgers can't replace Betts' impact with just this addition.

He is one of the best players in the league with a resume that includes a league MVP, two World Series crowns, a batting title, five All-Star selections, four Silver Sluggers and five Gold Glove awards.

He can impact the game in a number of ways and is slashing .273/.349/.535 with 17 home runs, 40 RBI and six stolen bases in 60 games this season.

Manager Dave Roberts told reporters Saturday there is no timetable for Betts' return.

Los Angeles is 40-25 and in first place in the NL West, but it doesn't have much breathing room to tread water until its star returns. It is a half-game ahead of the Padres and three games ahead of the San Francisco Giants with a series against each in July.

That provides more urgency to replace Betts even though the trade deadline isn't until Aug. 2.

Perhaps that eventually comes in the form of Vargas, who is the No. 5 prospect in MLB.com's rankings of L.A.'s farm system. Vargas brings power and the ability to play all over the infield, which could give Roberts more lineup flexibility as he looks to fill in for Betts with Thompson and others until the offensive leader returns.