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Royals Replace Hosmer with Lucas Duda

The Royals signed Lucas Duda to a one-year deal to be their first baseman or designated hitter. After losing out to the Padres for Eric Hosmer’s services, Duda is a cheaper and still talented consolation prize.

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Duda slugged 30 home runs in 491 plate appearances last season. While the home runs were nice, he batted only .217, which was hampered by a career-high 31% strikeout rate. While his batting average was below his career .242 mark, he offset the low batting average with 12.2% walk rate, which led to a .322 OBP. He’s definitely more valuable in fantasy leagues that count walks. While Kauffman Stadium is not the most home run-friendly home park, he had no trouble hitting home runs at Citi Field and Tropicana Field, neither of which is great for homers. He’s a true three-outcome player.

Duda’s value jumps with this signing. While the Royals offense will be well below league average, he likely hit in the middle of the lineup. Before the Duda signing, Hunter Dozier was slotted in at first base for the Royals, with Jorge Soler likely serving as the designated hitter. Dozier and Soler haven’t established themselves as everyday regulars, so I could see Dozier (who is likely the best defender) playing first, with Duda serving as the designated hitter. Duda could also see time at first with Soler at DH. Either way, I see Duda playing every day unless he really struggles.

Previous Hot Stove Analysis

Rangers Add Tim Lincecum to Bullpen

Logan Morrison Finds Home with Twins

Corey Dickerson Traded to Pirates

Marlins Add Cameron Maybin

Rays Sign Carlos Gomez

Yankees, Rays, Diamondbacks Complete Three-Team Trade

Red Sox Sign J.D. Martinez

Padres Land Eric Hosmer

Rays Acquire C.J. Cron, Designate Corey Dickerson

Jake Odorizzi Traded to the Twins

Mets Sign Jason Vargas

Eduardo Nunez Inks Deal with Red Sox

Blue Jays Sign Jaime Garcia

Orioles Sign Andrew Cashner

Cardinals Add Bud Norris to Crowded Bullpen

Cubs Get Their Ace, Sign Yu Darvish

Mets Add Todd Frazier on Two-Year Deal

Diamondbacks Sign Alex Avila

Royals and Athletics Swap Parts

Brewers Sign Lorenzo Cain

Miami Sends Christian Yelich to Brewers

Giants Sign Austin Jackson

Blue Jays Acquire Randal Grichuk

Blue Jays Sign Curtis Granderson

Giants Trade for Andrew McCutchen

Astros Acquire Gerrit Cole

Twins Grab Their Closer, Sign Addison Reed

Mets Bring Back Jay Bruce on Three-Year Deal

Toronto Acquires Yangervis Solarte from San Diego

Royals, Dodgers, and White Sox Complete Three-Way Trade

Rockies Fill Closer Vacancy with Wade Davis

Arizona Adds Bullpen Depth with Yoshihisa Hirano

Indians Fill First-Base Void with Yonder Alonso

Brewers Bolster Rotation with Jhoulys Chacin

Orioles Lose Zach Britton, Brad Brach Likely Closer

Giants Add Evan Longoria, Rays Create a Mess

Red Sox Bring Back Mitch Moreland

CC Sabathia Returns to Yankees

Dodgers-Braves Make Five-Player Trade

Angels in the Infield: Zack Cozart Signs with Los Angeles

Phillies Ink Carlos Santana to Three-Year Deal

Everyone’s Signing Relievers, But Who Will Close?

Angels Trade for Ian Kinsler

Cardinals Finally Get Their Marlins Outfielder

Cubs and Twins Gamble on Smyly and Pineda

Chase Headley Gets Dumped on Padres

Cubs and Cardinals Add Potential Closers

Giancarlo Stanton Joins Yankees

Rockies Sign Chris Iannetta

Angels Land Shohei Ohtani

Tigers Sign Mike Fiers

Dee Gordon Traded to Mariners

Cubs Sign Tyler Chatwood

Rangers Sign Mike Minor

Wellington Castillo Inks Deal with White Sox

Potential Closers Traded: Boxberger and Johnson

Doug Fister Signs with Rangers

Ryon Healy Traded to Mariners

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