Thompson Reappears- With the A's

If they had Mike Hammer on the case, they can call him off. Derek Thompson, the Dodgers' version of Jimmy Hoffa, has been located- with the Oakland organization.

Thompson, a lefthander spent four years with the Dodgers, most of that time on the disabled list. He was in rehab at Vero Beach last summer when he abruptly departed. He left no explanation for his disappearance and telephone calls to his home went unanswered. So, at the end of the season, he was cast adrift again, this time to free agency.

Now, he's signed a minor league contract with Oakland with an invitation to their spring training thus ending his troubled affiliation with Los Angeles which began when he was acquired in December 2002 via a pre-arranged deal in which the Cubs chose him from the Indians in the Rule 5 draft, then sold his contract to L.A.

He'd already missed considerable time with Cleveland because of a knee injury. He never did get to pitch in the spring of 2003 when he had Tommy John surgery which caused him to miss all of that season. He came back in 2004 and in 2005 made it up to the Dodgers for four games- three of them starts- in which he pitched well.

However, in 2006, it was back on the D.L. with further elbow problems which had to be scoped. Then came his mysterious exit from the premises altogether.

Now, it's the Athletics who will find out if (1) he shows up and (2) if he's healthy enough to pitch.