Rangers announce Minor League signings and Spring Training invitations for INF Matt Duffy, LHP Blake Taylor and 1B Jared Walsh

The additions take club’s Spring Training roster to 64 players

January 25th, 2024

Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has signed three players to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training camp: infielder Matt Duffy, left-handed pitcher Blake Taylor, and outfielder Jared Walsh.

Duffy, 33, appeared in 78 games for Kansas City in 2023, slashing .251/.306/.325/.631 (48-191) with 2 home runs, 8 doubles, and 16 RBI. The Long Beach, Calif. native has batted .277/.335/.369/.703 with 31 home runs, 102 doubles, and 231 RBI over 704 career Major League games with San Francisco (2014-16), Tampa Bay (2016, 2018-19), Chicago-NL (2021), Los Angeles-AL (2022), and Kansas City (2023). The eight-year MLB veteran was the runner-up in 2015 National League Rookie of the Year voting to the Cubs’ Kris Bryant after ranking highly among senior circuit rookies in hits (1st, 169), batting avg. (2nd, .295), runs (2nd, 77), RBI (2nd, 77), and total bases (2nd, 245). This year will mark Duffy’s second appearance at Rangers Major League camp, as he was also a non-roster invitee in 2020. Duffy was originally selected by San Francisco in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of California State University, Long Beach.

The 28-year-old Taylor went 0-2, 5.15 ERA (21 ER/36.2 IP) with 25 strikeouts across 35 relief appearances for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys (AAA) of the Houston Astros organization in 2023.  He spent the first three months of the season with the Space Cowboys before being designated for assignment on July 31 and released on August 4.  Taylor saw Major League action with the Astros in three consecutive seasons from 2020-22, going 7-6 with one save, a 3.06 ERA (27 ER/79.1 IP), and 67 strikeouts in 92 relief outings. He has limited left-handers to a .159/.260/.258/.518 (21-132) slash line at the big league level.  The Southern California native was originally selected by the Pirates in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft and has 10 professional seasons with the Pittsburgh (2013), New York-NL (2014-19), and Houston (2020-23) organizations.

Walsh, 30, split last season with the Los Angeles Angels and the club's Triple-A affiliate, Salt Lake.  He played in just 39 games for the Halos after opening the year on the Injured List, batting .125 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI in the Majors.  The left-handed batter and thrower was outrighted off the Angels' 40-man roster on October 16 and elected free agency.  He has spent his entire career in the Angels organization since being selected in the 39th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Georgia.  He was an American League All-Star in 2021, when he set career highs with 29 home runs, 34 doubles, and 98 RBI.

With the today’s three additions, the Rangers’ Spring Training roster now has 64 players: a full 40-man roster along with 24 non-roster invitees.