Marlon Byrd unlikely to re-sign with Rangers

Leave a comment’s T.R. Sullivan reports that free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd is unlikely to re-sign with the Rangers after the two sides recently had unproductive talks.
“We’ve had a decent amount of conversation,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “I expect them to test the market. Based on what they’re looking for … we’re not in a position to do that right now. We expect them to talk to other clubs and see what’s out there. We’re going to be looking at alternatives.”
Byrd was the Rangers’ primary center fielder and also saw extended action in left field, hitting .283/.329/.479 with 20 homers and 43 doubles in 599 plate appearances. After a slow start to his career the former top prospect has batted .295/.352/.468 in three seasons with the Rangers, and even adjusting for Texas’ hitter-friendly ballpark that would make him solidly above average offensively among center fielders.
However, his defense in center field graded out poorly this season according to Ultimate Zone Rating, he’s always carried more weight than most center fielders, and he’s 32 years old, so many teams will likely view Byrd as a corner outfielder who can handle center field if needed rather than a full-time center fielder. Texas seems committed to Julio Borbon in center field after he impressed offensively in 46 games as a rookie, leaving Josh Hamilton to man right field.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.