“It’s been an incredible journey that I dreamed as a kid I would be able to go on,” wrote Souza, before going on to give a heartfelt thanks to the many people whose lives touched his along the way.
Souza, 33, was a third-round pick of the Nationals out of Cascade High School in 2007 and made his big league debut with the Nats in 2014. After getting into 21 games for Washington down the stretch, Souza went to the Rays in December 2014 as part of a convoluted three-team trade that saw Wil Myers go from Tampa to San Diego and Trea Turner go from the Padres to the Nats.
Souza would spent the next three seasons with the Rays, which will no doubt go down as the best stretch of his career. From 2015 to 2017, he played 378 games, hitting 63 home runs, 53 doubles, four triples, stealing 35 bases and hitting .238/.327/.426.
Incredibly, Souza was part of yet another three-team trade prior to the 2018 season. In this deal, Souza went to the Diamondbacks while Brandon Drury went to the Yankees, among other pieces changing hands. Unfortunately, Souza’s trip to the desert would be a disappointing one, with injuries preventing him from sustaining the production he showed in Tampa. He was limited to 72 games in 2018 due to pectoral issues and hit just .220/.309/.369 when on the field. In March of 2019, Souza sustained a far worse injury, slipping on home plate during a Spring Training game. The club would later announce that Souza tore or damaged multiple ligaments in his knee, which would require season-ending surgery.
After missing the entirety of the 2019 campaign, Arizona non-tendered him, allowing Souza to reach free agency for the first time in his career. He’d go on to see MLB action over the next three seasons with the Cubs, Dodgers and Mariners, respectively, but unable to recapture his previous form. Over those three seasons, he hit .152/.221/.291.
In the end, Souza was able to appear in 505 MLB games and make 1,895 plate appearances. He’ll head into retirement with a lifetime batting line of .229/.318/.411, 72 home runs, 71 doubles, eight triples, 383 total hits, 223 runs scored, 207 runs driven in and 42 stolen bases. He was able to earn more than $10MM over his big league tenure. MLBTR congratulates Souza on a fine career and wishes him the best of luck in his next chapter.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.