Danny Duffy addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon, fresh off signing his five-year, $65 million contract extension that will keep him in Kansas City through 2021. The press conference, which you can listen to here, revealed a lot about how badly Danny Duffy wanted to stay in Kansas City.
General Manager Dayton Moore admitted that he had been engaged in talks with Danny Duffy’s agent, former Royals infielder Keith Miller, for some time.
“There is a phase in the season to go into deeper discussions,” said Moore. “Once you talk about arbitration and things of that nature talks intensify...There was a strong commitment on behalf of the Royals and behalf of Danny and Sarah to stay here in Kansas City to get a deal done.”
Dayton Moore on Duffy: "Any time you make a commitment to a player and they make a commitment to you it’s a bond that lasts forever.”<p>— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) January 17, 2017
Duffy, who had a breakout season in 2016, posting career highs in innings pitched, wins, and Wins Above Replacement, said he did not even consider trying to test free agency when he became eligible at the end of the season, despite the potential for an even larger pay day.
“I did not intend to leave. I did not want to leave.”
The journey has been a long-winding one for the 28-year old left-hander, who once walked away from the game of baseball. Duffy addressed that troubled time in his life, saying that the support he got from General Manager Dayton Moore was the reason he came back and flourished with the Royals.
“That’s another huge reason why I wanted to stay. He was somebody who cared about the person, not just the player.”
Duffy talked about sitting down with Moore and his staff and pouring his heart out. After he went home and “got right with God”, he returned.
“That would not have been the scenario in a lot of other organizations,” Duffy added. “I feel like I played with the perfect team.”
Duffy: "Hopefully this sparks some interest to bring some of the guys back." #Royals— Andrew Carter (@Andrew__Carter) January 17, 2017
Duffy gave a lot of credit to Royals fans and their support for their team as a reason he wanted to stay. He said he felt comfortable in Kansas City, despite being a California kid.
“My hometown is a small town and this place has a small town vibe as far as the people go. Everybody is extremely friendly...I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Later, Duffy talked to Carrington Harrison on “The Drive” on 610 KCSP. He marveled at the intensity of Kansas City sports fans when he was in town for the Chiefs game last weekend.
“The people, the friendliness, the hospitality, the fanhood, gosh, we have the best fans in baseball,” Duffy added. “They’ve been nothing but good to me.”
Duffy noted that the trade of Jarrod Dyson would mean the clubhouse would not be as loud, but he would miss his teammate. However, he understood it was part of the game and had already met Nate Karns, the pitcher Dyson was traded for.
“We played catch together, and he’s just a phenomenal dude. I’m excited to be part of the staff with him.”
Danny Duffy on the realization of signing a new 65 million dollar extension: "You're not lying man!" - It hasn't quite sunk in yet!"— 610 Sports Radio- KC (@610SportsKC) January 17, 2017
Part of running a successful organization is creating an environment where talented people want to stay. Dayton Moore can be faulted for many things, but it seems very clear he has built an organization that not only has the resources to retain talent, but makes it so talent wants to stay. Danny Duffy once tweeted “bury me a Royal”, and his loyalty to this organization has been richly rewarded.
“I’m fortunate they had the confidence in me to do this. You look it through rose-colored lenses. You want everything to work out. I’ve just been very blessed.”