The Reds have claimed outfielder Nick Williams off waivers from the Phillies, as first reported by Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports and confirmed by Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Williams will join his new club at the Reds’ alternate training location.
Williams, who played in 140 games for the Phillies just two years ago, has quickly been pushed out of favor in Philadelphia, thanks in part to the additions of Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen. Last year, he made just 112 plate appearances for the Phillies and largely failed to deliver, compiling a disappointing .151/.196/.245 batting line.
Nonetheless, Williams managed solid production in his first two big-league seasons: Between 2018 and 2019 (which he played at ages 23 and 24), he hit 29 home runs in 720 at-bats, posting a .269/.330/.446 slash line. He’s not far removed from that encouraging start to his career, and could certainly benefit from an expanded role with a new team.
Unfortunately, though, there’s no guarantee that such an opportunity will come in Cincinnati. As mentioned, he’ll begin his Reds career at the alternate training site and serve in a depth role, but with several existing corner outfield options, playing time might be scarce for Williams. Between Nicholas Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino, and others, it’s already a crowded mix, so we’ll have to wait and see just how Williams fits into the picture in his new environment.