Chicago Cubs Sign Steven Souza
The Chicago Cubs, who have been very quiet this off-season, have added a player to their crowded outfield. Chicago signed Steven Souza Jr. on Saturday, to a one-year Major League contract. The right fielder will join an outfield already featuring: Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, and Kyle Schwarber.
Per source, Steven Souza Jr. and the Cubs have agreed to terms on a one-year Major League deal, pending physical.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 25, 2020
Souza has been a sort of journeyman in his 5-year MLB career. He made his debut in the big leagues at age 25 for the Washington Nationals. Since then he has spent time with the Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks. He didn’t play in 2019 after he suffered a serious left knee injury, during Spring Training.
Souza, close to agreement with #Cubs, did not play last season after injuring his left knee in the second-to-last exhibition of the spring. He sustained a torn ACL, LCL and partial tear of his PCL and posterior lateral capsule.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2020
In his career, Souza has batted .233/.323/.417. This looks like a move to add depth to an outfield that struggled consistently throughout 2019. If that is the case, there will be a concern for the thirty-year old’s health — as he continues to recover from that terrible season-ending injury. Looking more in-depth at the move, it could potentially put an end to negotiations with free-agent Nicholas Castellanos.
Significance of the Move
While it may be just speculation, this deal seemingly shuts the door for the team to re-sign Nicholas Castellanos. Chicago has already been hesitant to spend any substantial amount of money, and Souza appears to be a cheaper replacement to add depth in right field. The team appears to be content with the roster as is.
Unless the Cubs are able to move their star third baseman Kris Bryant in a trade, Castellanos won’t be on the roster in 2020. The lack of cap space has been a major problem for Chicago, as they’ve missed out on all the big names in free agency.
The Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds are reportedly considered the best fits for him now. Castellanos has everyone’s attention as the best available player left in free agency. It looks like the slugger could remain in the NL Central in 2020, this time around he may come into the ‘Friendly Confines’ as a rival.