Any player that will not be part of the next good Kansas City Royals team should be eligible for a trade and that includes starter Danny Duffy.
It’s an unpopular opinion. I get it. For the same reasons that the Kansas City Royals should explore a trade involving the versatile Whit Merrifield apply to Danny Duffy as well. What exactly are those reasons again? Let’s be honest, neither one of these players are going to be part of the next Royals team that is ready to compete.
With the “fab-five” of starting pitchers in the lower levels of the farm system, the earliest this team is going to field a competitive team again is 2021 and that’s if they can fill the holes on offense. While we aren’t quite sure how aggressive new owner John Sherman will be in free agency, he should absolutely explore a trade with a team needing another starter for next season.
The Royals should not have to look far on how to quickly rebuild their farm system when you have seen what the Chicago White Sox have done in the last couple of seasons. Essentially, any veteran player on the roster was traded for young talent. They made a terrific trade in July 2017, sending fan favorite Jose Quintana in exchange for Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, among others.
They also acquired Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito via trades and while the Royals don’t have a pitcher like Chris Sale, that should not prevent them from exploring all avenues. Duffy will be 31 when the 2020 season begins and could be a valuable fourth or fifth starter on a competitive team.
I certainly understand fans not wanting to part with guys they like but it would be better for the team long-term. That’s really what it’s all about right now. Duffy is under contract through the 2021 season and likely wouldn’t be re-signed by the Royals when his deal is up. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore would be smart to shop him this offseason.
Another option would be to keep him through this offseason and try to trade him at the 2020 deadline for a team desperate for starting pitching. But then you run the risk of him potentially being injured at the time when teams are proactively pursuing pitching needs for their team.