The Angels have announced that they’ve signed infielder Matt Duffy to a one-year deal. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register relays that he’ll make a salary of $1.5MM and that Griffin Canning is going on the 60-day IL to open up a roster spot.
The 31-year-old Duffy has had a real up-and-down career thus far. After making his MLB debut and getting a cup of coffee with the Giants in 2014, he broke out in 2015 to the tune of a .295/.334/.428 slash line over 149 games, producing a 113 wRC+. That offensive output, combined with this excellent defense, produced 4.4 fWAR. 2016 was a step in the wrong direction, however, as his bat slipped below league average and the Giants sent him to the Rays as part of the Matt Moore trade.
2017, his pendulum swung back in the other direction, as he hit .294/.361/.366, for a wRC+ of 107 and 2.5 fWAR. In 2019, injuries sapped him of his playing time and production, as he only played 46 games and wasn’t very good when he was on the field. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he signed a couple of minor league deals but couldn’t crack the big leagues. In 2021, he parlayed a minor league deal with the Cubs into yet another bounceback effort, playing 97 games and hitting .287/.357/.381, for a wRC+ of 102 and 1.5 fWAR.
Defensively, Duffy spent most of his time at third base last year but also saw significant action at second, as well as cameos at shortstop, left field and first base. For the Angels, the hot corner is spoken for as long as Anthony Rendon is healthy. He was limited to just 58 games last year due to injuries but seems to be fully recovered for this season. For the middle infield reps, manager Joe Maddon recently said that Andrew Velazquez was the favorite to get the majority of playing time at shortstop, with Tyler Wade, Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher also in the mix. One of that group will also have to cover second base, with Duffy now competing against them all as well.
As for Canning, his 2021 season was cut short in August due to back issues that seem to still be lingering. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reported earlier today that Canning had a setback and wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day.