Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: Fan-Favorite Matt Duffy designated for assignment

By Seth Carter
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Willy Adames #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with Matt Duffy #5 after scoring a run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 07: Willy Adames #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with Matt Duffy #5 after scoring a run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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The Rays have designated Matt Duffy for assignment ahead of the 40-man roster deadline.

After three and a half years and only 199 games played, Matt Duffy’s time in St. Petersburg has come to an end. Duffy had an auspicious start to his career with the San Francisco Giants when he placed second in Rookie of the Year voting during the 2015 campaign.

Just prior to the trade deadline in 2016, the Rays acquired Duffy as a part of a package for left-handed pitcher, Matt Moore. Rays also received Lucius Fox and Michael Santos as part of the deal.

Duffy brought leadership to the clubhouse and a solid on-base percentage to the Rays, but unfortunately, he spent more time injured than contributing on the field. Duffy dealt with the first of what would be many injuries when he blew out his achilles just 21 games into his tenure with the Rays. The injury forced Duffy to miss the entire 2017 season.

He was able to make a full comeback in 2018 when he took over the vacancy left by Evan Longoria at third base. Less than one month into the season, a strained hamstring put him on the shelf for ten days. He battled back and played in 132 games in 2018, recording a .294/.361/.366.

Duffy was only able to play in 46 games in 2019 as the injuries continued to mount. Today the Rays made the decision to part ways with a player that was very well-liked.

Rays GM Erik Neander had the following to say about Duffy’s removal from the 40-man roster.

"“Wish that his health and his time with us would have gone different in that regard and we could have had him on the field more. He really is a special player and there’s the obvious stuff you can measure in how he impacts a game. His intangibles, his leadership, his influence on a younger impressionable clubhouse like we have is worth a lot. And that especially made this a very difficult decision and we’ll certainly miss him in that regard.’’"

Where does that leave third base in 2020?

Yandy Diaz will likely reclaim bulk the third base duties in 2020. Diaz logged 50 games at the hot corner for Tampa last season. in 79 total games, Diaz hit .267/.340/.476. He tacked on 14 home runs in 307 ABs. Duffy played 46 games at third, Daniel Robertson registered 43, Joey Wendle had 27, and Mike Brosseau and Christian Arroyo saw action in 18 and 13 games.

Duffy should pass through waivers and will hopefully find a home for the 2020 season with a team in need of a solid bat off the bench and a great clubhouse presence.

Next. Could the Rays sign this World Series hero?. dark

Fare thee well Matthew Duffy!  Should the Rays give Yandy Diaz most of the playing time at third this year? Should they make a move? Let us know in the comments.

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