New York Yankees Sign Matt Duffy to Minor League Contract

New York Yankees
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: A detailed view of the New York Yankees logo on top of Steinbrenner Field before the spring training game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals at Steinbrenner Field on February 26, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees have signed former San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays player Matt Duffy to a minor league contract. On Sunday, the Texas Rangers released the 2015 Rookie of the Year runner-up. Duffy, who is primarily a utility infielder, had a minor league deal with the Rangers. The Yankees added Duffy to their 60-man roster as training camp opens on July 1st.

History

Matt Duffy first appeared in the Majors in 2014 with the Giants and earned a World Series ring. In his first full season in 2015, Duffy burst on to the scene hitting .295 with 12 home runs and 77 RBI in 149 games. His efforts placed him second in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant.

Injuries

Unfortunately, the 149 games Duffy played in 2015 were the most he’s ever played in a season. Since 2014, he has only appeared in 452 regular-season games.

In 2016, an Achilles injury limited him to only 90 games. He was traded midseason to the Rays as part of a deal for Matt Moore. Over the next two seasons, Duffy only managed to play in 178 games leading the Rays to release him in November of 2019.

Potential Impact

Despite going to a New York Yankees team that is loaded with infield talent, Duffy still could make an impact with the club. The Yankees have had a plethora of injury woes over the last few years. As a result, players like Gio Urshela, Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu have become staple players for the Bronx Bombers. So, with that in mind, Duffy could see a clearer path back to the majors should the injury trend continue. He adds tremendous value as he plays all four infield positions. Duffy is also a lifetime .282 hitter who very rarely strikes out.

Given the unusual circumstances with the upcoming 60-game 2020 season, adding a player with Duffy’s experience is a solid move. At worst, he will add necessary infield depth and could even DH in a pinch. At best, Duffy could potentially be another steal for a Yankee team that will have to decide if they want to re-sign LeMahieu in the offseason.

Camp

The Yankees have currently filled 58 of their 60 roster slots. Camp will open on Wednesday, July 1st at Yankee Stadium. They have also signed former Milwaukee Brewers catcher Max McDowell to a minor league deal as well. Last year in Double-A, McDowell hit .213 with four home runs and 22 RBI. He will add depth to a deep catching pool for the Yankees. McDowell was drafted in the thirteenth round by the Brewers in 2015.

The Yankees also released right-handed pitcher Dan Otero, then re-signed him to a minor league contract adding him to the 60-man roster.

Opening Day

The New York Yankees will open with the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals on July 23rd. The marquee matchup will feature two of the game’s premier pitchers as Gerrit Cole will square off against Max Scherzer. While though not yet official, the game will no doubt be a primetime event as MLB fans have been waiting a long time for live-action baseball.

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