Texas Rangers Sign INF Matt Duffy to Minor League Contract
By Kenneth Nash
The Texas Rangers have reportedly agree to a minor league deal with infielder Matt Duffy. The 29-year old adds more insurance to the clubs infield.
Per a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Texas Rangers have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Matt Duffy with an invite to Major League camp in Spring Training. Duffy, 29, is set to make $1 million with an extra potential $1.5 million in incentives if he makes the big league roster. He becomes the latest in what has been a busy offseason for the Texas Rangers who are looking to build a team that can push for a Wild Card spot in the American League.
Duffy spent the early part of his career with the San Francisco Giants breaking out in 2015 with a campaign that landed him second in NL Rookie of the Year voting. That season Duffy hit .295 with a .762 OPS in 149 games. In 2016 he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays as a part of the package that took LHP Matt Moore to San Francisco. He missed time throughout 2016 and 2017 but returned to a full schedule in 2018 posting a .294 average with a .727 OPS and 2.5 fWAR. Last season though was another injury plagued year for Duffy who played in only 46 games for Tampa Bay before being released in November.
At just 29, there is still reason to believe that Duffy can produce similarly to the rate he did in 2018 and he can play throughout the infield, giving them some added insurance entering this season. The majority of his career has been spent at third base where he has been a plus defender up until last season.
He’s a solid contact hitter but his power does raise concerns with only 22 home runs in over 1700 plate appearances. In 2018, his .072 ISO or isolated power, was the lowest in baseball among qualified hitters. For the Rangers, this is a low risk signing that can give them some depth at the Major League level and provide a veteran in the minors if he remains there throughout the season.