KC Royals: 2 players who will be traded this season
By Jacob Milham
Infielder Matt Duffy
Infielder Matt Duffy has been used sparingly this season, but contenders should value the veteran's bench presence this season.
The Royals added Duffy on a minor-league deal this offseason, giving the 32-year-old a spring training invite too. This is the fifth team of Duffy's eight-year major league career and the fourth in as many years. He is a journeyman-level player, but that is okay. He holds a career 100 wRC+, keeping the pace of an average MLB batter. Duffy has performed very well at the plate in his limited opportunities for the Royals this season. In 20 appearances, Duffy has a 139 wRC+ and .863 OPS. If one of the younger Royals posted those numbers, they would be a prospective foundational piece. But, Duffy is a veteran and pending free agent and that changes his value completely.
What increases Duffy's trade value is that his bat performs well with or without consistent playing time. Contending teams will value that aspect of his game, instead of inexperienced players or batters who require a rhythm. Duffy has a career .296 batting average as a pinch hitter in 79 plate appearances. That value is not top-prospect worthy but certainly has value to a needy contender.
Also, Duffy has some great defensive versatility. He has appeared at every infield spot in his career and has multiple appearances at second and third base this season. He isn't an amazing fielder but is competent enough to be a spot starter or replace an injured player. That trait is what drives Duffy's trade value. Contenders do not want him starting most of their games, but be their safety net. If a contending team has shallow depth or injury concerns with their starters, expect the calls to come for Duffy.