Former Tampa Bay Rays’ fan-favorite was DFA’s in November. He has signed with the Texas Rangers to compete for a spot this spring.
It was announced earlier today (Jan. 30th) that Duffy had signed a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training with the Texas Rangers.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Duffy will have a chance to compete for a utility infielder spot. If he shows well in spring he could even earn an opportunity for some platoon work at first base.
The Rangers previously signed third baseman Todd Frazier this offseason. Frazier can play at both first and third, setting Duffy up with a chance to carve out a role against lefties.
Just before the 2016 trade deadline, the Rays traded for Duffy as a part of a deal that sent left-handed pitcher, Matt Moore to the San Francisco Giants.
Duffy brought leadership, good on-base skills, and potential after finishing second in the 2015 Rookie of the Year voting.
Duffy dealt with the first of what would be many injuries when he blew out his achilles after just 21 games as a Ray. Duffy went on to miss the entire 2017 campaign, as a result of the injury.
He made his comeback in 2018, just in time to take over for the departing legend Evan Longoria. Duffy played in 132 games hitting .294 and finishing with a .361 OBP in 2018.
However, he was only able to play in 46 games for the Rays last season. The injuries continued to pile up on the third baseman.
Rays’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations, Erik Neander had this to say about Duffy when the Rays announced that he would be designated for assignment:
"“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.’’"
Whether he ends up as a utility infielder or gets significant platoon work in Texas, we wish Matt Duffy all of the best!