Arizona Diamondbacks non-tender OF Steven Souza Jr.

Dec 2, 2019, 4:48 PM | Updated: 6:25 pm

Steven Souza #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Atlanta Braves during the third innin...

Steven Souza #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning of an MLB game at Chase Field on September 9, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks non-tendered outfielder Steven Souza Jr., making him a free agent, the team announced Monday.

The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan first reported the news.

Per Spotrac, Souza’s contract was estimated to be $4.1 million next season and then he was set to become a free agent in 2021. The team also non-tendered starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and catcher Caleb Joseph.

Souza was acquired by the D-backs from the Tampa Bay Rays in February of 2018 in a three-team deal. In that trade, the D-backs sent Brandon Drury to the New York Yankees, top pitching prospect Anthony Banda to the Rays and also received pitching prospect Taylor Widener from New York.

The 30-year-old Souza’s career in Arizona will be defined by injuries. In the 2018 season, he only played 72 games, dealing with a shoulder injury from spring training that he suffered after making a diving play on a ball. He didn’t play until the beginning of May, but then went back on the disabled list in late May and didn’t return until July 5.

Souza showed signs of the bat he was in Tampa Bay, hitting .292 with an OPS of .856 in July and posting slightly lower numbers in August.

He struggled through September but was on pace to be the starting right fielder for the D-backs in 2019.

In an exhibition game on March 25, Souza tore his left ACL, LCL, posterior lateral capsule and partially tore his left PCL as well, ending his whole season before it started.

Luckily for the D-backs, they were able to sign veteran outfielder Adam Jones in his place and Jones played well, hitting .260 with 16 home runs and 67 RBIs for a .728 OPS.

Without Souza, the D-backs will have a hole to fill in right field. David Peralta, Ketel Marte and Tim Locastro are the only outfielders under contract by the team. Jones and Jarrod Dyson are free agents.

Arizona has been linked to free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna, one of the best bats on the market.


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