The Royals signed veteran infielder Matt Duffy to a minor league contract Friday, per a team announcement. The TWC Sports client will be invited to Major League Spring Training and compete for a roster spot.
Duffy, 32, spent the 2022 season with the Angels, where he played three different spots around the infield and posted a combined .250/.308/.311 batting line in 247 plate appearances. Duffy held a similar role with the Cubs in 2021 when he batted .287/.357/.381 and played all four infield positions in addition to left field.
Once the starting third baseman for the Giants and a key piece in the trade that sent Matt Moore from Tampa Bay to San Francisco, Duffy’s career has been severely hampered by injuries. An ailing Achilles tendon in 2016 eventually required surgical repair. That, paired with a separate procedure to remove bone spurs from his heel, cost him the entire 2017 season. Duffy returned to play in 132 games with the 2018 Rays, but a hamstring injury cost him the first four months of the 2019 season and ultimately held him to 46 games.
Duffy doesn’t have much power, but he tends to have a low strikeout rate and is capable of playing all over the infield with passable or better defense (generally plus defense at the hot corner). He’ll give the Royals the type of contact-oriented profile that is so often a hallmark of their roster, and he provides some insurance at second base, third base or shortstop in the event of injuries or a trade.
Kansas City has reportedly drawn trade interest in Nicky Lopez — including from the division-rival White Sox — and their top option at third base is Hunter Dozier, whose contract team would surely prefer to move, if at all possible. Twenty-four-year-old Michael Massey is expected to have the opportunity to win the second base job, but Duffy provides a veteran alternative if Massey struggles this spring.
Nicky Lopez trade forthcoming?
I don’t really get that, I feel like Lopez has no trade value. He had a OPS of .554 last year because he has absolutely zero power on top of a .281 OBP.
I get the defensive and pinch running angle but he’s making $3.7M in arb now. Just seems like a lot for a guy who is a negative offensive contributor and who probably gets non-tendered next year anyways. Like maybe they trade him to free up $ and a roster spot but it’s basically just a dump in my mind.
Absolutely nails with the glove. And good dude to boot. As a Royals fan I’d be sad to see him go. That being said he hits with a wet noodle.
Last year I took the grandkids to a Royals game because I hadn’t been since the renovation, it was Nicky Lopez bobble head day! What do I do with it?
deGrom Texas Ranger
Speaking of Duffy, Danny Duffy is still a free agent. He could be a cheap incentive-based guy.
just signed with Rangers
deGrom Texas Ranger
I know. How exciting! I assume Danny Duffy and Kennedy would make a good amount if they make the MLB roster. Britton next
Did you know he hit cleanup at times for the Angels last year? Protection for Ohtani !
I will always root for Matt Duffy. He was a good Giant. But even he knows he didn’t belong in the 4 spot
The biggest difference between the Angels this year and last year is this year their depth are useful major league players.
And the fact that Duffy batted fourth is more about bad managers rather than anything else.
Wasn’t this guy hitting cleanup for the Angels last year?
Small correction, Duffy wasn’t in the Longoria trade, but he was a part of the Matt Moore trade the previous year.
Wrong, he was not part of the Longoria trade. He was part of the Matt Moore trade.
He produces better than a lot of other players in the big leagues. I am mildly surprised he couldn’t get a modest big league deal somewhere. He was a good utility guy for my cubs. I hear he is a good guy too. Hope he cracks the roster as a utility guy. He definitely will if they make any more trades.
Matt Duffy and Skeeter, forever GIANTs
Hoping the Duffman comes back home to the Giants to coach when he retires as a player. Such a smart good guy and we all love him so much
Seeing Matt Duffys name gives me pause as it reminds me what a stinking turd the 2022 Angels lineup was at times.
Here’s an example…
June 22, 2022
Shohei Ohtani pitching, actually got the Win with this lineup…
Trout, Rendon, and Walsh need to stay healthy for once in their lives. We can’t go through this crap in 2023. Granted Perry brought in solid backup for once, but watching these types of lineups was Advil popping brutal.
@dlrkg – I really think that you will end up loving O’Hoppe. That last jump is a big one, but I would bet on him. He was the guy that I didn’t want to lose via trade at the deadline. His defensive chops should be there…smart, hard-working and the bat could make him a stud.
I know that from the Phils perspective it made sense – huge hole in CF and Marsh could end up being very good. And we have JTR for a few more years but I was really dreaming on the Hoppster coming up as the impact backup and they could both end up sharing time and doing some work at 1B / DH as well.
@Carver, man I hope you’re right. Angel fans remember his first hit last year and the broadcast was spot on his parents. Very cool.
Many Angels fans were rooting for the Phil’s because of Marsh. He was one of the fan favorites with personality to match. So glad to see him find a home in Philly.
Hopefully this will be a win-win scenario for both clubs. Fingers crossed.
I like what the Royals are doing to build infield depth. They certainly aren’t signing any stars, but addition of guys like Beaty, Duffy, and Camargo give them a fair amount of flexibility. They can deal Lopez. They can deal Dozier if they find anyone to take him.