The Rangers have reached a deal with infielder Matt Duffy, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports (via Twitter). It’s a minors pact with a $1MM salary if Duffy cracks the MLB roster. He can also earn up to $1.5MM in incentives.
Duffy, the 2015 Rookie of the Year runner-up in the National League, only just turned 29 years of age. He was an above-average offensive performer as recently as 2018. And Duffy is a versatile defender who could help fill out the infield mix in Texas.
Trouble is, Duffy has had a tough time staying on the field and consistently producing at the plate. He missed all of 2017 and made it into just 46 games with the Rays last year. Duffy wasn’t effective when he did play in 2019, turning in a .252/.343/.327 batting line. He also hasn’t graded as well in the field as he once did in San Francisco.
It’s an easy risk for the Rangers to take, particularly after the team missed on its top infield targets. Duffy could see action as part of the mix at third base and/or supplement the OBP-challenged Rougned Odor at second. At times, Duffy has shown just enough pop and plenty of glove while reaching base at a strong clip. If he can rediscover some of that mix and stay on the field, he could be a bargain for the Texas org.