The Mets sign a journeyman outfielder to a minor-league contract

mlb: san diego padres at chicago white sox, trayce thompson, mets
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have been rumored to be adding outfield depth throughout the offseason, and on Wednesday evening, they did just that.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets have signed outfielder Trayce Thompson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

A look at Thompson’s baseball journey.

After four successful years at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Thompson decided to forgo his commitment to UCLA and sign with the Chicago White Sox, who selected him in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft.

Thompson rose through the White Sox minor league system, becoming one of their top prospects before debuting in 2015.

The California native slashed .295/.363/.533 with five home runs and 16 RBIs across 44 games in his rookie season.

The following offseason, Thompson got shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team deal also involving the Cincinnati Reds.

Thompson struggled to stay healthy over the next two seasons, playing in only 107 games before being designated for assignment by the Dodgers on March 27, 2018.

After being claimed by the New York Yankees, Thompson ended up with the Oakland Athletics before being traded back to the White Sox, who designated him for assignment on June 22, 2018.

Thompson appeared in 51 games between the Athletics and White Sox, slashing an abysmal .117/.162/.211 with three home runs and nine RBIs.

Over the next three years, the California native bounced around the Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs minor league systems before being called up by the Cubs in September of 2021.

In 15 games for the blue and white, Thompson slashed .250/.400/.714 with four home runs and nine RBIs.

Thompson signed with the San Diego Padres to begin the 2022 season, appearing in just six games before being released. 

The California native joined the Detroit Tigers organization before being traded back to the Dodgers, where he broke out.

In 74 games for the Dodgers, Thompson slashed .268/.364/.537 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs.

Thompson failed to duplicate his 2022 success in 2023, appearing 36 games for the blue and white before being traded back to the White Sox again.

The 32-year-old would play in 36 games for the black and white before opting for free agency after the season.

What does this mean for the Mets?

The Mets needed outfield depth, with Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte having a history of struggling to stay on the field, and Thompson will provide the blue and orange with just that.

The 32-year-old has vast experience at all three outfield positions, and while not known for his ability at the plate, Thompson has shown that, at times, he can be a very serviceable hitter.

Thompson’s defensive versatility should make him a stellar depth piece for the Mets in 2024.