The Trade Tree Of Steven Souza Jr.


The Trade Tree Of Steven Souza Jr.

The career of a major league player can at times be crazy. Long gone are the days when players spend their entire careers with the same organization. Some players get traded multiple times. Some players get released and some players sign with other teams when they get to test free agency. So goes the career of Steven Souza Jr.

The trade tree of Steven Souza Jr. is indeed fascinating. Souza was traded twice and both times it was in a three-team trade. In fact, the Souza trade tree spawned a third three-team trade. Three-team trades are interesting to analyze due to the number of players and moving parts involved.

The Souza trade tree also has a Rule Five draft pick, a competitive balance pick, cash, and a player to be named later who was very instrumental to the 2019 World Series champions.

Rays/Padres/Nationals Three-Team Trade

The Steven Souza Jr. trade tree starts off with a three-team trade made between the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals. This trade was made on December 19, 2014, and was an 11 player trade where each team got one productive player.

The Rays received Souza and Travis Ott from the Nationals and Jake Bauers, Burch Smith, and Rene Rivera from the Padres. The Padres received Wil Myers, Ryan Hanigan, Jose Castillo and Gerardo Reyes from the Rays. The Nationals received Joe Ross and a player to be named later from the Padres. On June 14, 2015, the player to be named later turned out to be Trea Turner. The Padres traded Hanigan that same day to the Boston Red Sox for Will Middlebrooks.

The New York Mets selected Burch Smith in the 2018 Rule Five draft from the Rays. But he never played one inning for the Mets. That very same day the Mets traded Smith to the Kansas City Royals in a deal where the Mets ultimately received cash. Smith was eventually released by the Royals.

The Nationals still have all the players they acquired while the Padres have all but one player they received in that trade. Middlebrooks was granted free agency after the 2015 season. The Rays currently do not have any of the five players they received in the trade. Rivera and Ott were released. Souza and Bauers were traded and Smith was lost in the Rule Five Draft.

Rays/Mariners/Indians Three-Team Trade

On December 13, 2018, there was another three-team trade involving the Rays, Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians. This five-player trade had cash going to two of the teams and a competitive balance pick changing hands.

The Rays received Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser from the Indians. The Mariners received cash from the Rays and Edwin Encarnacion and a 2019 competitive balance pick from the Indians. The Indians received Jake Bauers from the Rays and Carlos Santana and cash from the Mariners. The competitive balance pick turned out to be Isaiah Campbell who is the 11th ranked prospect in the Mariners organization. Sulser was waived after the 2019 season.

During the 2019 season, Encarnacion was traded to the New York Yankees for Juan Then. Then is the 15th ranked pitcher in the Mariners minor league system. Following the 2019 season, the Yankees declined their team option and let Encarnacion become a free agent.

In this trade only the Indians still have all the players they received. The Mariners and Rays only have one player left.

Rays/Diamondbacks/Yankees Three-Team Trade

Souza once again is involved in a three-team trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Yankees. The Diamondbacks received Souza from the Rays and Taylor Widener from the Yankees. The Rays received Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Rays also received Anthony Banda, Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche from the Diamondbacks. The Yankees received Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks.

The Yankees traded Drury and Billy McKinney to the Toronto Blue Jays for J.A. Happ. The Rays traded Solak to the Texas Rangers for Peter Fairbanks. Although the Diamondbacks released Souza they still have Widener. After trading Solak the Rays still have the other three players in the trade.

The End Result


Myers was once the fourth-ranked minor league prospect in baseball and at 28 years old still has his prime years ahead of him. Myers is always involved in trade rumors with the Padres but he is young enough that he can reach his full potential. Castillo and Reyes both are strictly bullpen pitchers for the Padres.


The Yankees acquiring Encarnacion was more to keep him away from other American League teams. He has since signed with the surging Chicago White Sox. Happ is a back of the rotation pitcher for the Yankees who could still get traded due to his lofty contract.


The Rays who are normally very good at making trades didn’t get much out of this whole series of transactions. The Rays received a total of 12 players and only five remain. Diaz, Banda, McWilliams, Poche, and Fairbanks at this time are only viewed as depth players. But it would not surprise me if a couple of these players blossom into good pieces for the Rays.


It took seven years for Souza to make the major leagues but he was traded off his best minor league season. Boy did the Nationals really sell high and strike gold. Ross has been decent at best. But when you can get a cornerstone player for basically someone who has not established himself in the major leagues you have done very well. Turner is a part of the core of a championship team.


The Mariners basically exchanged power hitters in Santana for Encarnacion. Now that both are no longer Mariners they were able to get Campbell and Then who are top 15 prospects in their minor league system. The Mariners are rebuilding and have five prospects in the top 100 according to MLB. This farm system is deep and it is certainly possible that Campbell and Then would be ranked higher in other organizations.


Santana is entrenched as a starter for the Tribe. He is signed through the 2021 season with the Indians holding the 2021 club option. Santana is slightly younger and has just a drop more of a team-friendly contract than Encarnacion. Bauers has a chance to earn more playing time.

Blue Jays

The Blue Jays were on the verge of rebuilding so trading Happ was necessary. Drury was a really valuable utility player with the Diamondbacks. The Yankees had big plans for Drury but he suffered from blurred vision and migraines. The Yankees inserted rookie Miguel Andujar into the lineup and Drury could not get back on the field. Both Drury and McKinney are viewed as depth pieces with the Blue Jays. It would not be surprising to see Drury re-establish himself as a super-utility player.


Now back to the player that started it all. Souza had a good career as a Ray but he could not stay healthy once he got to Arizona. Souza is now a free agent who is looking for a team that will take a chance on him. At 29 years old Souza still has time to get back on track to the level of player he was with the Rays. Widener is still a minor leaguer with the Diamondbacks ranked 13th in their system.

With so many of the players involved in this series of transactions who knows what other trades will happen to extend the Steven Souza trade tree.