The Royals announced they have released outfielder Brian Goodwin and have selected the contract of first baseman Lucas Duda. The 28-year old Goodwin was acquired by the Royals last July from the Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Congra-Bogan but played in just 27 games in Kansas City due to injury, hitting .266/.317/.415. He struggled this spring, hitting just 5-for-43, although was said to be adjusting his swing.
The Royals will add Duda to the roster, giving them another left-handed first base bat in the lineup. Duda played 87 games with the Royals last year, hitting .242/.310/.413 with 13 home runs in 87 games before he was sold to the Atlanta Braves. Duda opted out of his contract with the Minnesota Twins last week after he was told he would not make their roster and signed a minor league deal with the Royals a few days later.
Duda will make $1.25m, plus $250K in performance bonuses, per a source.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) March 25, 2019
Goodwin had struggled this spring, but at age 28 with several controllable years left he seemed to at least fit in with a youth movement. The move probably means Jorge Soler will play more right field than expected, with Chris Owings and Whit Merrifield also likely to see time there. Duda seems likely to spent most of his time at DH with perhaps some time at first base, and could split time with Frank Schwindel, who may have a better chance of making the team with Goodwin off the roster.
For a team that has stressed youth, speed, and defense, it seems strange to let go Goodwin in favor of Duda. Perhaps Duda gives the Royals some sort of clubhouse presence we’re not privy to, but from the outside this is a very puzzling move for a rebuilding club.