The Kansas City Royals made it clear during the Winter Meetings that everyone was available in potential trades. As the off-season continues to creep by slowly, potential trade rumors for beloved players have started to subside. However, the silence does not mean those players are not being discussed still.
A lot of attention has been buzzing around Danny Duffy this offseason. With the Royals opening up pandora’s box by saying they will listen to any offer for any player on the roster, of course, Duffy’s name came into play.
The biggest reason this trade potential is hard for a lot of Royals fans to swallow is that of his relationship with the community. Even after all of his ups and downs as a professional, Duffy has made one thing obvious. He loves Kansas City, and he loves the Royals organization. When his name started popping up in trade rumors, Duffy took to Twitter to express his love for Kansas City and the Royals.
Is No-News still Good-News?
Due to the fact that the Royals seem to be holding out until they know what prized free agent Eric Hosmer decides, all news around the Royals has gone quiet. With the random pop-up of the Scott Alexander/Joakim Soria trade, the Royals have done very little else. However, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, that does not mean things are not actually happening within the organization.
While filling in Monday on 610 Sports Radio he discussed how teams are still calling on Duffy and how the Royals have not told a team he is not available. According to his report, the Houston Astros spent quite a bit of time trying to persuade the Royals to trade Duffy to them prior to the Gerrit Cole trade on January 13th.
Even though this sounds a lot like it did when the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs came knocking, your ears still perk up. When it goes quiet for as long as it has you start to believe the possibility is gone. However, that does not seem to be the case.
Passan also stated that Duffy is a “desired option” for teams that are not sure if they want to take a free-agent starter. He also mentioned that the Philadephia Phillies are a team that is “very interested” in Duffy.
So let’s dig in and look at why Duffy continues to be a desired player to so many teams.
Danny Duffy by the Numbers
Let’s start with the numbers. Last year Duffy posted a 3.81 ERA over 24 starts and 146.1 innings pitched. Duffy also struck out 130 batters while walking just 41, giving him a 3.17:1 K/BB ratio (strikeout to walk). He posted an 8.0 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) and a 2.5 BB/9 (walks per nine innings) and finished the year with a 1.257 WHIP (walk/hits per inning).
To put it in perspective for you, according to MLB.com…
- 3.81 ERA – 24th in the MLB and 12th in the AL
- 3.17:1 K/BB – 22nd in the MLB and 9th in the AL
- 8.0 K/9 – 36th in the MLB and 15th in the AL
- 2.5 BB/9 – 20th in the MLB and 10th in the AL
- 1.257 WHIP – 28th in the MLB and 12th in the AL
Yes, Duffy did not play a full season so those numbers are not 100% accurate. However, when you look at where Duffy was ranked it is easy to see why the Royals are getting phone calls about his availability.
As a starter the last two years, Duffy has shown that he can be a great addition to a rotation that is ready to compete. Over his last 50 starts, he has a 3.68 ERA with a 21-13 record. He also has an 8.7 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and a 3.81:1 K/BB ratio.
The Financial Attraction
One of the main driving forces on why teams would want Duffy instead of a free agent pitcher all comes back to money. Before the 2017 season started the Royals extended Duffy to a five-year deal, at $65 million. This shocked everyone because Duffy was expected to make somewhere around $80 million on the open market after the 2017 season. Talk about a hometown discount.
Duffy’s contract has him making $14 million in 2018, $15.25 million in 2019 and 2020, and $15.5 million in 2021. When looking at the numbers he produces, and how much he is making, it is easy to understand why teams are calling.
It seems like the Royals have taken any potential moves or rumors underground. They also seem to be content with waiting until Hosmer decides if he is coming back to Kansas City or taking his talents to San Diego. Regardless, it was a bit surprising that Duffy was persuaded by Houston recently and the interest was kept under wraps.
As far as I can tell the Royals seem to have three options, which I am not crazy about either.
- Sign Hosmer and to make room for his contract they trade Duffy.
- Keep Duffy and let Hosmer go to San Diego or a mystery team.
- Hosmer signs with another team and the Royals commit to a rebuild and trade Duffy anyways.
Unfortunately, it seems that the Royals are going to make a choice once Hosmer makes a choice. Due to how slow the market of free-agents is they can get away with that for now. It would be nice to know something soon so the healing could begin though.
So what do you think Royals fans? Do you think Duffy will be in Royal Blue next year? Or do you think the Royals are quietly working on a trade to deal the fan-favorite soon? Let us know your thoughts!