Former Tampa Bay Rays Third Baseman Matt Duffy Heads to Texas Rangers

Matt Duffy
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 06: Matt Duffy #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won 11-2. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Former Tampa Bay Rays Third Baseman Matt Duffy Heads to Texas Rangers

When you’re a fan-favorite baseball player, it can become quite the upsetting moment when you’re taken off the team. That’s exactly what happened to third baseman Matt Duffy at the end of last season. Having played for the Tampa Bay Rays since 2016, when he was traded there from the San Francisco Giants, he was unfortunately sidelined with an injury for the 2019 season. Due to that, he only managed to play in 46 games for the team before being designated for assignment on November 20, 2019. He would be released two days later.

Yet, it seems as though the third baseman has found himself a new home, having signed a Minor League deal with the Texas Rangers as of January 30, 2020. This will see him attend Spring Training with the team, giving him the chance to compete for a utility infielder spot. Should he manage to put on a good showing with the Rangers, he could end up earning himself a place at first base.

The Rangers recently signed Todd Frazier to a deal as well, who was one of the hottest free agents in the offseason. Frazier is known for being able to play at both the first and third bases, meaning that Duffy has the chance to position himself for a role against lefties.

The likelihood is, that if Duffy does manage to impress enough during Spring Training, the Rangers will have him on the field, and this could lead to some interesting sports bets being placed in favour of the team. Brands like 888Sport even allow this to take place through mobile devices, with the 888Sport mobile app being on hand to download for free. Therefore, it’s clearly in Duffy’s hands as to how well he does during that training time period.

Rays Missing Out on Duffy

Duffy originally came to the Rays as part of a deal that saw them send the left-handed pitcher, Matt Moore to the Giants where he’d come from. With his arrival at Tampa Bay, Duffy introduced great characteristics to the game, providing great leadership, strong potential and super on-base skills, too. Unfortunately, he suffered through various injuries while a part of the Rays, including the blow out of his entire Achilles in 2017 after just 21 games played.

Yet, his 2018 season was much better, taking over from departing legendary player Evan Longoria. He went on to play 132 games, hitting .294 and ending the season with a .361 OBP.

Of course, as noted, his 2019 season was cut short thanks to another slew of injuries, meaning that he was only able to participate in a small number of games. The Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Rays, Erik Neander, said of Duffy:

“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.”

Neander said that it was a difficult decision for the Rays to release Duffy, but the baseman has definitely landed well on his feet with the Rangers deal.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Nice piece. Facts are way off on the injuries, though. He absolutely DID NOT experience “the blow out of his entire Achilles…”. An athlete’s career is usually over with a total rupture of an Achilles tendon.

    Here are the absolute facts: He had a small bump on his left heel bone that inflamed the surrounding tissues with excessive running. That included the Achilles, but that’s the extent of the so-called Achilles ’injury’. Simple inflammation.

    The bump was surgically removed in ‘16, but lingering pain necessitated another look, which revealed a small piece of bone remaining that was floating around in the same heel area. That piece was determined to be the source of the continuing pain, and it was removed in a minor subsequent procedure in 2017 and the issue is a thing of the past.

    The “slew of injuries” last season was actually a strained hamstring that occurred during spring. The pressure he imposed on himself (and from every other direction) to get back on the field caused repeated cycles of returning before fully healed, and restraining the muscle. He finally worked his way out of it and rejoined the Rays in late July, had his own ‘spring training’ of sorts in August, but finally returned to feeling good and playing like himself the last 5-6 weeks of the season. His monthly splits show this.

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