Outfielder Nick Williams has officially departed from the Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies’ last remaining acquisition from the Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman trade to the Texas Rangers in July 2015 — outfielder Nick Williams — is officially no longer part of the organization.
After being designated for assignment by the Phillies on Tuesday to help clear 40-man roster room for relievers Connor Brogdon and Blake Parker, Williams has been claimed by the Cincinnati Reds, according to a Saturday afternoon report from NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury. The Reds have since made the transaction official, announcing that they have optioned Williams to their alternate training site.
Williams 26, had yet to appear this season; from 2017-19 in red pinstripes, he slashed .254/.313/.420 with 30 doubles, 31 home runs, and 110 RBI in 290 games.
Last season alone, the Texas native hit just .151, although he largely received limited playing time — garnering just 67 plate appearances, in part, due to the Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen free-agent acquisitions.
The Phillies simply had no playing time nor plate appearances for the corner outfielder, considering they have Harper, McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery — and, at least to start the season, Kyle Garlick — all playing the outfield.
The Reds are now taking a chance on Williams, who showed promise early on in his career. Through 83 games in 2017 as a rookie, he slashed .288/.338/.473 with 14 doubles, 12 home runs, and 55 RBI.
Coincidentally, the team Williams has only hit two home runs against in the same game are the Reds; the outfielder slugged two solo shots, and four hits overall, in a July 26, 2018, road contest that ended in a 9-4 Phillies win against the National League Central opponent.
As previously mentioned, Williams’ departure from the Phillies now officially “closes the books” on analyzing the Hamels/Diekman trade, with him, Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, Matt Harrison and Jake Thompson all departed from the organization. Perhaps, the last thing Phillies fans can hold their hats onto is that Alfaro was part of the trade to acquire perennial All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins before the 2019 season. Although, even that could go for naught if the Phillies do not re-sign Realmuto following the shortened 2020 season.
Time will tell how Williams fares with the Reds in the National League Central.