The KC Royals are still looking for someone who can give our fearless backstop more breathers from catching, if not take over for him.
Despite the pleas for Salvador Perez to receive more days off or move to another position, he is determined to get better with age and 2020 proved that. It also reinforced, thanks to vision problems that cost him 20 games, that someone needs to be ready to be a long-term solution behind the plate.
Cam Gallagher surprised in 2020 with decent stats but that cannot be expected over a full season. The other catching options this year did not provide quality results.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, meanwhile, had a horrific pitching staff save for three hurlers. ERA’s of 6.58, 6.48, 7.84, and 5.44 out of five of seven top starters is abysmal. The bullpen was not better as six of the top eight relievers had ERA’s of 4.36 or higher.
Duffy could move into either slot and be an instant upgrade. Arizona has money coming off the books as Mike Leake and his $15 million salary will hit the free-agent market. The D’backs payroll going into 2021 is only at $78 million.
Carson Kelly, the once heir to Yadier Molina, will be entering his first arbitration year and could expect a nice bump from his $581,700 salary. Arizona has another year of Stephen Vogt under contract and up-and-coming catcher Daulton Varsho had a nice rookie season leaving Kelly somewhat expendable.
Kelly provided decent defense having thrown out 45% and 32% of would-be base stealers in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Good framing comes with the package and he also cranked out 18 homers in 2019 while getting on base at a .348 clip.
While he may not replace Perez in terms of overall play, he is a great insurance policy to have in case needed. With a reasonable salary, it is definitely a shot worth taking.
Duffy has been involved in many community events on top of his play in his many years with the KC Royals. Unfortunately, sticking around with one team like Alex Gordon, George Brett, and Frank White happens way too little. In many cases though, it is what is best for the player and the team.