Trevor Williams has elected free agency over accepting an assignment to Triple-A, per John Dreker of Pirates Prospects (via Twitter). Williams was designated for assignment last week and largely assumed to choose free agency given his role in the Pirates rotation the last four seasons.
All told, Williams has been a steadying presence in the Buccos rotation since 2017, making a total of 93 starts spanning 522 innings with a 4.34 ERA/4.52 FIP, 7.0 K/9 to 3.0 BB/9, and 2.07 bWAR per 200 frames. The 28-year-old has mostly taken the backseat in the public eye to higher profile arms the likes of Tyler Glasnow and Chris Archer, however.
Williams best work came in 2017 and 2018. Last season was a low-point for Williams as he struggled to a 6.18 ERA/6.30 FIP in 55 1/3 innings over 11 starts. His strikeout rate actually increased to a career-high 19.4 K%, but his command wandered as well as his walk rate climbed to 8.3 BB%. The bigger issue for Williams was keeping the ball in the ballpark. He surrendered an ML-leading 15 home runs in 2020 despite the launch angle and exit velocity of opposing hitters decreasing from the previous season.