Dodgers get three prospects in a three-team trade in which Todd Frazier goes from Reds to White Sox
As former Lakers forward Mychal Thompson was preparing Wednesday for his radio sports-talk program, he received word the Dodgers had traded for his son.
Outfielder Trayce Thompson, the 24-year-old brother of NBA All-Star Klay Thompson, was one of the three prospects the Dodgers acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a three-way trade involving the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers sent infielder Jose Peraza and two prospects to the Cincinnati Reds, who moved All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier to the White Sox.
The elder Thompson could only think of one drawback about the move.
“I have DirecTV,” he said with a laugh. “You know what that means.”
It means Thompson belongs to the part of the local market that can’t watch SportsNet LA, the Dodgers-owned cable channel.
If his son reaches the major leagues, there’s something else that could prevent the retired basketball player from watching his son on a nightly basis: the possibility of the Dodgers flipping him to another team.
With Zack Greinke moving to the Arizona Diamondbacks and a proposed contract with free-agent Hisashi Iwakuma still not final, the Dodgers remain in search of pitching.
The last of the four frontline starters on the free-agent market found a team this week when Johnny Cueto agreed to a six-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers will pay a refundable $20-million posting fee to negotiate with Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda, but have offered no indication of how aggressively they intend to pursue him.
This could lead to the Dodgers shifting their focus to trading for a premium arm, as Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins and Carlos Carrasco of the Cleveland Indians are believed to be available.
Landing a pitcher of Fernandez’s caliber will likely cost the Dodgers a package of prospects that could include Thompson or the two other players they acquired Wednesday: hard-throwing right-hander Frankie Montas and second baseman Micah Johnson.
In addition to Peraza, the Dodgers sent the Reds outfielder Scott Schebler and infielder Brandon Dixon, meaning they essentially swapped three prospects for three prospects.
Asked why the Dodgers didn’t acquire Frazier instead of the three prospects, Andrew Friedman explained that he didn’t want to move Justin Turner to second base because Turner is recovering from a knee operation. Friedman added the Dodgers were uncertain of how Frazier would respond to being asked to move off third base.
What Friedman neglected to mention is that advanced metrics indicate Turner is an average to above-average defender at third base and below average at second.
Of the three newcomers, Montas is considered the prize. The 22-year-old has a fastball that touches 100 mph.
“Our scouts feel like his fastball-slider combination is one of the best in the minor leagues,” Friedman said. “We feel like he has a chance to develop into a really good starting pitcher.”
If that doesn’t happen, Friedman said the Dodgers could turn him into a power arm out of the bullpen.
Friedman said the addition of Montas has made him more open to trading one of the organization’s top minor league pitchers, something he has resisted doing. Montas, who appeared in seven major league games this year, is expected to be part of a triple-A rotation that includes Julio Urias, Jose DeLeon and Jharel Cotton.
Johnson was described by Friedman as a “plus-plus” runner, evidenced by his 31 steals this year between triple A and the major leagues. Friedman also complimented the athleticism of Thompson, who made his major league debut this year and hit five home runs in 44 games.
A second-round pick out of Santa Margarita High, Thompson can play center field. That was an area where the Dodgers felt they could use more depth, unlike the corner outfield positions played by Schebler.
Thompson said he isn’t bothered by the speculation that he could be moved again.
“I try not to pay attention to what’s going on in the baseball world until something like that actually happens,” Thompson said. “Wherever I end up, I’m going to play as hard as I can. Right now, I’m a Los Angeles Dodger.”
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