The Milwaukee Brewers still have Keon Broxton on their roster, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have Trayce Thompson on theirs. Both are available for trade. Which outfielder should teams target before Opening Day?
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson is in his age-27 season. He’s also out of options, and unlikely to make the Opening Day roster. Thompson will get claimed by another team if he’s DFA’ed, so it makes sense that the Dodgers are looking to deal him.
Keon Broxton is also available, and could find a new address before Opening Day. Who should other teams look to acquire before they set their rosters?
How are Broxton and Thompson doing this spring?
Thompson has appeared in 13 games for the Dodgers so far this spring. He owns a .687 OPS with one stolen base in 34 plate appearances.
Broxton has made 17 appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers this spring. He has a .220/.347/.390 slash line with two homers and seven steals in 49 plate appearances. He’s struck out 18 times, but he also has eight walks.
What about injury history?
Thompson suffered a back injury in 2016 that cost him half of that season, and kept him out in early 2017. His back appears to be healthy, but he’s still working his way back to where he was before the injury.
Broxton doesn’t have any significant injuries to date, and he won’t turn 28 for two more months.
What will Thompson or Broxton cost in a trade?
This is where the true difference really lies. Thompson is out of options and far behind on the depth chart. Other GMs know this, and have zero incentive to give the Dodgers anything more than an low-level ‘not-a-prospect’ in return.
Broxton still has an option left, but appears to have a path to a spot on the Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day roster. The Brewers don’t have an incentive to deal Broxton at the moment, and they won’t until Brett Phillips is ready. Phillips owns a .354 OPS this spring and looks like he’s ticketed for Triple-A.
Unless a team wows Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns with an offer for Broxton, he’s not moving any time soon. Thompson is out of options and will get exposed to waivers if he’s not dealt. He’ll cost very little, but he’s not really a better option that Broxton at this point.
Thompson is almost three years removed from a mini-breakout with the Chicago White Sox in 2015. Since then, he’s been traded, got hurt, and struggled. His value right now is as low as its been since he made his Major League debut. Thompson may cost less than Broxton, but Broxton had a 20/20 season last year.
Broxton is clearly the superior option for a team in need of a toolsy, athletic outfielder who needs a starting job. He has an option left, and has stayed relatively healthy. Thompson may cost next to nothing, but Broxton is a much better trade target at this point.