The Wingnuts made a flurry of roster moves today, the most notable of which is trading mainstay Michael Thompson, their third baseman since the first game of the inaugural 2008 season, to Quebec of the Can-Am League.
The Wingnuts received Michael Bell in return. Bell has spent much of the season in Fort Worth, but he was sent to Quebec recently in a move that may have helped facilitate this transaction. I wasn’t completely clear on that.
Thompson, the Wingnuts’ career leader in games played with 242, is one of only two Wingnuts, along with first baseman Stephen Pearson, to be with the team since Day 1. In his first two seasons, Thompson combined for 81 extra-base hits, but this season he has just seven in 181 at-bats despite an average hovering around .300.
Bell has a strong track record but has struggled this season and could benefit, like Thompson, from a change of scenery. A former member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, where he reached Double-A in 2008, Bell was a .269 career hitter entering this season with double-digit homers in every season since 2006.
This year, however, Bell batted .214 in 131 at-bats with Fort Worth, with one homer and 11 RBIs. He’s strong defensively but needs to prove that he’s not finished as a hitter.
In other moves, the Wingnuts released reliever and former Wichita State two-way player Clint McKeever. They also traded reliever Doug Hurn to Fort Worth. To fill those spots, the Wingnuts signed J.R. Boling and David Jensen, who will slot into the bullpen.