Williams returns to the NL East, where he began his career as a third-round pick of the Phillies. He reached the majors for the first time last season, getting into 58 games and hitting .245/.315/.316. Williams showed solid plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills, but he collected just five extra-base hits in 108 plate appearances. It was a similar story at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he posted a .270/.329/.341 line through 143 trips to the dish.
The Phils designated Williams for assignment in Spring Training, and the Giants brought him in for minor league third baseman Will Toffey. His stint in the Bay Area was brief, as the 25-year-old got into just eight MLB games and made ten appearances with their top affiliate in Sacramento. The Giants later acquired a pair of infielders — Kevin Padlo and Donovan Walton — from the Mariners, and they’d seemingly surpassed Williams on the depth chart.
Miami picks up a versatile infield option for manager Don Mattingly. Williams has played all over the diamond in the minor leagues, with the bulk of his action coming at third base. He still has all three option years remaining, so the right-handed hitter can bounce between the majors and Triple-A Jacksonville for the foreseeable future if the Fish keep him on the 40-man roster.
Miami already has a fair bit of infield depth, with Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Miguel Rojas comprising the everyday middle infield. Offseason trade pickup Joey Wendle has been the primary third baseman, though he’s been on the injured list for two weeks because of a hamstring strain. That’s left Brian Anderson to step back third base from his corner outfield role, although Wendle is currently on a rehab assignment with Low-A Jupiter and should be back before long. Out-of-options utilityman Erik González is on the active roster as a depth player.
Cantrelle, like Williams, spent less than two months with the club that traded him today. The Marlins landed the 23-year-old as one of two players in the Spring Training deal that sent catcher Alex Jackson to Milwaukee. Cantrelle was a fairly recent fifth-round pick of the Brew Crew. A good runner who’s primarily a second baseman, he has struggled offensively during his pro career. Cantrelle is hitting .185/.312/.337 through 110 plate appearances with Double-A Pensacola. The University of Louisiana product has drawn plenty of walks in the minors, but he’s also struggled quite a bit with strikeouts.