The White Sox made two moves on their day off Thursday, trading infielder Tyler Saladino to the Brewers for cash considerations and sending cash to the Athletics for outfielder Trayce Thompson.
The Sox basically added much-needed outfield depth at the expense of a little-used infielder. Neither player has seen much playing time, with Saladino getting eight at-bats so far with the Sox and Thompson — who is headed to his fourth organization in three weeks — has seven with the A's.
Thompson returns to the White Sox after an impressive late-season performance in 2015. He seemingly was going to be a starting outfielder in 2016 until the Sox sent him to the Dodgers at the 2015 winter meetings in the three-way deal that brought Todd Frazier to the South Side.
Thompson may have a chance to get more playing time with the Sox. While Adam Engel won the starting job in center field this year, he has yet to prove he can hit at the major-league level.
An injury to Triple-A Charlotte outfielder Ryan Cordell, who is expected to miss two months with a broken clavicle, left the Sox with few options if they send Engel down.
The Sox drafted Thompson in the second round out of high school in 2009, and he made it to the majors with the Sox for 44 games in 2015. He batted .295 with five home runs, a .363 on-base percentage and a .533 slugging percentage, then was traded with second baseman Micah Johnson and pitcher Frankie Montas to the Dodgers in a deal that netted the Sox third baseman Frazier from the Reds.
Thompson, 27, played sparingly in two seasons with the Dodgers, batting .207 in 107 games in 2016-17. The brother of NBA All-Star Klay Thompson and son of former top overall NBA draft pick Mychal Thompson was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on March 27, claimed by the Yankees on April 3 and then by the A's two days later. The A's designated him for assignment Tuesday after he went 1-for-7 in three games.
Saladino, 28, slashed .231/.281/.330 while playing slick defense in parts of four seasons with the Sox. His best season came in 2016, when he hit .282 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 319 at-bats before a herniated disk in his back ended his season in September and required surgery.
He has struggled since, batting .178 in 281 at-bats in 2017 and finding playing time scarce in 2018, appearing in six of 15 games. The Sox drafted Saladino in the seventh round out of Oral Roberts in 2010.