Texas Rangers rumors: Steven Souza, a free agent outfielder who missed much of 2018 and all of 2019 due to injuries, is healthy and drawing interest from numerous teams, including the Rangers, according to Jon Morosi on Twitter.
Souza, who turns 31 in April, is a righthanded hitter who has played almost exclusively right field in the major leagues. He was originally a third round draft pick of the Washington Nationals, and was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays after the 2014 season in the three-way deal that sent Wil Myers to the San Diego Padres and Trea Turner to the Nationals. He was involved in another three way trade at the start of spring training in 2018 that sent him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal that also included Nick Solak going from the New York Yankees to the Rays.
Souza has only had one good season in the majors, in 2017, when he slashed .239/.351/.459 in 617 plate appearances for the Rays and put up a 4.1 bWAR. He’s a high-strikeout, middling OBP guy who has a career .233/.323/.417 slash line and has averaged 194 Ks per 162 games in his career, and he suffered a torn ACL and LCL and a partially torn PCL from stepping awkwardly on home plate in spring training 2019 which landed him on the injured list all year.
The Rangers having been looking for righthanded bats, and Souza is righthanded. If he could play first base, that would help, and the Rangers’ interest in him may be based in part on a belief that he could move to first base.
Morosi says the Chicago Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the San Francisco Giants are all in on him, and the Giants might be the best fit for him, given the holes they have in their outfield. Souza seems like a candidate for a minor league deal, but if someone likes him enough and is confident enough he can rebound and be a solid righthanded bat, he could fetch a major league offer.