The Royals have signed first baseman Lucas Duda to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
Duda, an inexpensive Eric Hosmer replacement, hit .217/.322/.496 with 30 homers and 64 RBI last year between the Mets and Rays. It’s a weird batting line, bolstered by some pretty darn good hitting in New York (129 OPS+ in 291 plate appearances) but some less-than-great performance in Tampa Bay (96 OPS+ in 200 plate appearances with the Rays).
Over the course of his career he’s hit far more like his Mets performance than his Rays performance. If he comes close to that, the Royals got themselves a bargain.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.