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Athletics claim Trayce Thompson off waivers from Yankees

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What was your favorite memory of Trayce Thompson in Yankees pinstripes?

Was it . . . no, everyone says that. Maybe it was . . . ah, yes, that was quite a highlight. Alas, those days are over and we’re not likely to see Thompson back at Yankee Stadium until they unveil his outfield monument. For, you see, he has been waived and claimed by the Oakland Athletics. The end of an era.

Thompson was claimed by the Yankees from the Dodgers way back on *blows dust off of paper records* April 3, presumably to deal with the spate of injuries to outfielders Aaron HicksBilly McKinney, Clint Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury. Frazier is getting close to returning to action and, perhaps, the Yankees just decided the Trayce Thompson era had run its course, so off he goes.

The A’s getting him puts Thompson in the same town as his brother, Klay, who I’ve heard is something of an athlete himself. Good for him. Maybe he’ll be on the sports pages one day himself.

Thompson, 27, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers at the end of spring training. He struggled in 27 regular season games last year, posting a .483 OPS. He did show some power and speed potential as a minor leaguer so maybe the A’s can squeeze something out of him.

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.