Although both sides have made overtures that they would like to stay together, it is possible the KC Royals would ship the long-tenured southpaw.
Danny Duffy has expressed a desire to be buried a Royal in the past. As someone who is one of the last ties to the 2014 playoff team and a 2015 World Series winner, it is difficult to think of the KC Royals cutting ties with him.
In 11 starts between 2012 and 2013, promise was shown he would be a star. Solid full years from 2014-2017 saw Duffy accumulate 37 wins, ERA’s under 3.51 except for 2015, and ERA+ ranging from 1.11 to 1.39.
Duffy made the brave confession last year about struggling with mental illness. As we know with Dayton Moore, he is compassionate towards these situations and allowed the pitcher to take time to recoup. The vulnerability strengthened the bond between the player, club, and the fans.
"Duffy joins a growing, yet still small, group of athletes who have spoken out about mental health challenges. Fellow pitcher Zack Greinke left the game in 2006 and when he unexpectedly returned, he announced he deals with a social anxiety disorder. — sports.yahoo.com"
After signing a 5-year deal prior to the 2017 season, Duffy had a strong year. The last three seasons have seen a regression statistically speaking though. ERAs of 4.88, 4.34, and 4.95 have followed. The walks per nine innings have been the highest in several years, and the home runs per nine have increased.
There was also the situation of the damaged vehicle and a missed flight in September that forced the Royals to skip his start and brought an end to a six-game winning streak. His ERA jumped from 4.24 to 5.01 in his next start, seemingly a hangover from the incident.
Duffy can still be a welcome veteran presence, especially with the wave of young pitching talent the Royals have coming up. Heading into his age-32 season, there are still plenty of years left in that talented left arm.
A move to the bullpen might rejuvenate his career. In the five 2020 starts where he allowed more than four runs, only once did the opposition get more than a run on him in the first four frames. Duffy is still stingy against left-handed batters holding them to a .577 OPS in 34 plate appearance this season.
The KC Royals would likely need to absorb some of his $15.5 million salary for next year – the last of his current deal – if moving him. It is also not hard to see him as a strong opener or later inning reliever who can give you multiple innings and shut down the lefties in the lineup.
The following are three teams in need of a player like Duffy to make a playoff run next year and what Kansas City could land in return.