The Twins announced Saturday that Duda agreed to a minor-league contract with the team and will report to major-league spring training as a non-roster invitee. Duda's contract likely includes an opt-out clause that would allow him to pursue opportunities with another organization in the event he fails to break camp with the big club. The 33-year-old doesn't offer any defensive value and has historically been a liability against same-handed pitching, but he continued to mash righties while splitting time between the Royals and Braves in 2018, slashing .264/.336/.477 (118 wRC+) across 265 plate appearances. He could make for a viable platoon mate for C.J. Cron or Tyler Austin at first base if the Twins don't mind his lack of positional versatility.
Duda (back) made Atlanta's 25-man roster for the NLDS against Los Angeles. Duda hasn't appeared in a game since Sept. 23 due to a back issue, but it's unlikely that manager Brian Snitker would keep him on the active roster for this series unless he was healthy enough to play. That being said, Duda will likely strictly be utilized as a pinch hitter off the bench. Across 107 games between the Braves and Royals this year, he's hit .241/.313/.418 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI.
Duda is unavailable Thursday against the Mets due to a sore back, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. This helps explain why Duda wasn't called upon to start at first base with Freddie Freeman getting the day off. The issue is considered minor, and the 32-year-old, who is hitting .222/.364/.500 with a homer and two RBI in 22 plate appearances since joining the Braves, is expected to be available for Friday's series opener against the Phillies.
Duda hit a pinch-hit, solo home run Sunday against the Diamondbacks. Duda took Yoan Lopez deep in the ninth inning to hit his first home run as a member of the Braves. He has appeared only as a pinch hitter, clearly behind Freddie Freeman on the depth chart. As a result, his value is limited to the deepest of leagues.
Duda was traded from the Royals to the Braves in exchange for cash, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Duda slashed .242/.311/.415 with 13 homers across 86 games with the Royals prior to being traded. With no DH spot available in Atlanta, Duda is expected to primarily serve as a bench bat while occasionally picking up a start at first base.