The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly acquired outfielder Steven Souza from the Tampa Bay Rays as part of a three-team trade with the New York Yankees.
John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station first tweeted about what the D-Backs were getting in the trade and who they were giving up. As part of the deal, Brandon Drury will head to the Bronx and one of the D-Backs’ top prospects, left-hander Anthony Banda, will pack his bags and head to Port Charlotte, Florida, to join the Rays.
The 29-year-old Souza hit 30 home runs last season. That will not replace what J.D. Martinez, who signed a five-year deal with the Boston Red Sox on Monday, but Souza is under team control for three more seasons. His power should also fit in nicely at hitter-friendly Chase Field.
Souza struck out more last season compared to 2016, but he also walked 47 more times and that translated into an above-average on-base percentage for a power hitter (.351). His 121 OPS+ was much higher than league average.
Souza was also more than a four-win player last season and he plays above-average defense in right field.
The D-Backs did give up Banda, who has been the organization’s top pitching prospect for a number of years but had yet to find his mark at the major league level and had nothing left to prove in the minors. Time will tell, but sometimes a change of scenery is best for the player and this could be the case with Banda.
The Rays will send minor-league right-hander Taylor Widener to the D-Backs. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com tweeted that the D-Backs will also send two players to be named later to complete the deal, but Gambadoro said those players are not top-20 prospects.
Drury had a nice season for the D-Backs last year and can play a number of positions. But the D-Backs needed a power hitting corner outfielder, and they have plenty of infielders.
Some have questioned the idea of giving up Banda for Souza. Only performance will dictate who actually wins the trade, but the D-Backs have built a nice short-term outfield core and are in a win-now mode.
Some people suggested on Twitter that the D-Backs could have just claimed Corey Dickerson, who was designated for assignment on Sunday. But Gambadoro said Dickerson and Carlos Gonzalez were not options.