|Rich Thompson in the Rays dugout last night as Tampa played Boston (AP Photo)|
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays were in desperate need of a center fielder with Desmond Jennings, Sam Fuld, and Brandon Guyer all on the disabled list. That would seem to back up what Chris Wise told me yesterday about the Rays needing a true center fielder in the system. Thompson fit the profile and Rays GM Andrew Friedman liked his speed so they brought him in. The article also says the Rays were working on the move for the past few days, but doesn't specifically mention that they were working on getting Thompson that whole time.
Matt Gelb, the writer who wrote the piece on Thompson a few days ago, was able to gather the details on how Thompson found out about the trade. He got the call at 10:45 and left on a 1:45 flight to Tampa.
And of course the good news we found out quickly after the trade was announced: Thompson was heading to the majors.
He walked into the Rays dugout in the 2nd inning of last night's game against Boston according to various reports. Wearing #24 (does that mean he's going to be double the player he was with the Pigs? 12x2=24) Richie pinch ran for designated hitter Luke Scott in the 8th inning. @NicholasParson grabbed a picture of Thompson on first base and posted it to Twitter.
Thompson is also available on Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball for those of you in need of stolen bases.
A number of people said goodbye to Richie on Twitter yesterday. Here are some of the notable tweets...
Best wishes and congrats to Rich Thompson who was traded to the Rays today!— Kurt Landes (@kurtlandes) May 16, 2012
Thompy getting the trade and call up today is one of the best teammate moments I have had in this game. Truly deserving, so pumped. #pigs— Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) May 16, 2012
Reports are that the Phillies just traded Rich Thompson to Tampa, too bad he's fun to watch with the IronPigs and one of my favorite guys— Troy Hein (@Heininsports) May 16, 2012
Happy for former Lehigh Valley Iron Pig Rich Thompson, traded to and playing for Rays today. Good guy getting a chance.— Eric Karabell (@karabellespn) May 17, 2012
Finally, check out this documentary on Rich Thompson produced by Ryan Kelly of Service Electric.