The Astros are in agreement on a deal with outfielder Steven Souza Jr., reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com (Twitter link). It’s a minor-league deal, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Souza’s deal comes with an invitation to major league spring training, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
Souza once looked like a potential core piece on the heels of a strong three-year run with the Rays, culminating in a .239/.351/.459 (121 wRC+), 30-homer season in 2017. After that campaign, the Diamondbacks acquired Souza in a three-team trade involving Tampa Bay and the Yankees.
Unfortunately, the move didn’t pan out. Souza struggled with both injuries and underperformance in 2018, then suffered a devastating knee injury near the end of the following spring training. That ended his 2019 season before it began; the Diamondbacks non-tendered him that winter. Souza did manage to return to the big leagues in 2020 after signing a one-year deal with the Cubs. His stay in Chicago lasted only eleven games, though, thanks in part to another stint on the injured list (this time for a hamstring strain).
It has now been three years since Souza’s managed a full, healthy season. Nevertheless, there’s no risk for the Astros in bringing the 31-year-old in on a non-roster deal and giving him an opportunity to compete for a job in spring training. It looks to be a decent landing spot for Souza, as there’s little depth in the Astros’ corner outfield behind projected starters Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker.