Thompson, 31, appeared in six games earlier this season with the San Diego Padres. He was later designated for assignment, and he elected free agency after passing through waivers untouched. Thompson joined the Tigers about a month ago, and has since spent his time with Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate, where he hit .299/.352/.639 with eight home runs in 25 games.
Thompson, brother of Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay, was originally a second-round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2009. He has since appeared in more than 200 big-league games, including more than 100 as a member of the Dodgers. Alas, maintained success has proven elusive. For his career, he has batted .205/.280/.397 (83 OPS+) with 26 home runs. Thompson has performed better against lefties (.728 OPS) than righties (.648), an important consideration given his likely role with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers had been on the prowl for a right-handed outfielder who could platoon with Eddy Alvarez in right field during Mookie Betts‘ absence. Betts cracked a rib last week after colliding in the outfield with Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers entered Monday in first place in the NL West with a 40-25 record. In addition to Betts, Los Angeles is also without outfielder Kevin Pillar (who could’ve filled this role himself) and more notable contributors, such as starters Walker Buehler and Dustin May and reliever Blake Treinen.
The Dodgers have an off day on Monday before beginning a three-city, nine-game road trip with stops against the Reds, Braves, and Rockies. The Dodgers are slated to face left-hander Max Fried on Saturday, and that would seem like a reasonable bet as to when Thompson makes his first start as a member of the organization.