The Royals have begun long-term contract negotiations with left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy, according to MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flanagan. Duffy is under club control for the 2017 season, but will be eligible for free agency at the end of that year. Flanagan reports Duffy is “out of the loop” on talks, saying that his agent handles negotiations, but that he is amenable to staying in Kansas City.
"I want to stay with the Royals long term," Duffy said. "One-hundred percent. For sure. You can quote me on that."
Danny Duffy is coming off a career season where he posted a 3.51 ERA and 3.83 FIP and 4.2 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. He pitched a career-high 179 2⁄3 innings with 188 strikeouts, the most ever by a Royals left-hander. In six seasons with the Royals, the former third-round pick has a 3.71 ERA with 7.8 strikeouts-per-nine innings.
MLB Trade Rumors estimates that Duffy is due to earn around $8.2 million next year through the arbitration process. Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger has suggested the Royals could sign players like Duffy to long-term, backloaded deals that pay them lower salaries in 2017 to keep the team under budget. Duffy has stated his preference at staying in Kansas City several times, at one time tweeting in his now-defunct Twitter account, “Bury me a Royal.”
Danny Duffy is still just 27 years old, but has never made more than 26 starts in a season and is a Tommy John survivor, making him a great health risk. Back in June, I estimated a contract extension would likely be around four years, worth between $36-44 million.