Cubs Rumors: Team interested in adding veteran Steven Souza

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Desperately lacking quality depth options, the Chicago Cubs are reportedly interested in former Tampa Bay veteran outfielder Steven Souza Jr.

Steven Souza Jr. made his debut with the Washington Nationals in August 2014 after an injury to Nate McLouth. His time with the Nationals may be best remembered for clinching Jordan Zimmerman’s no-hitter in September 2014.

Washington traded him to Tampa Bay that offseason. He spent three years with the Rays, posting a 30-homer season in the process. He went from there to the Arizona Diamondbacks. But in the desert, he was unable to stay healthy, playing in just 72 games in 2018 before missing the entire 2019 campaign after tearing his knee to pieces. He tore his ACL, LCL and PCL in Spring Training and was recently non-tendered.

He is certainly a good low-risk bounce back candidate if a team was willing to take a chance on him, and MLB insider Jon Morosi linked him to the Cubs in a tweet.

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If the Cubs can’t find a way to bring Nick Castellanos back, Souza may be a solid alternative. The issue is his past injury history, as he has only played more than 120 games in a season one time, and that was the year he hit 30 dingers.

When a player shatters his leg like that, it’s hard to say how long it will take before they are at full strength again, if ever. Souza also isn’t too great at making consistent contact in his career, having struck out over 140 times in a season three times.

The last thing the Cubs need is another guy that strikes out a bunch, there are enough of those in the lineup. His career 70.2 contact rate doesn’t exactly sound like a bat that fits the Cubs needs.

Souza is a decent defender, however, posting 5 DRS across the outfield over the course of his career and he’s always hit the ball hard.

Souza wouldn’t be bad as a guy to have off the bench especially as a late game defensive replacement. The 30-year-old is only in his second year of arbitration, so the team who signs him can have him for two seasons if he performs well and can stay healthy.

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The career slash line of .233/.323/.417 doesn’t really jump off the page, and he’s going to be 31 during the 2020 season. With the injury problems and his age, he’s a huge risk for anybody and one the Cubs can’t afford to take right now. They need proven hitters who make more contact, Souza is not that.