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Danny Duffy reaches ten years of service time, and can now veto any trade

Bury him a Royal?

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Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Kansas City Royals are the only professional baseball team Danny Duffy has ever played for since he was drafted as a kid out of high school in California. He signed a five-year contract extension with them back in 2017 and has told fans “bury me a Royal.”

His perseverance after nearly walking away from the game as a minor leaguer has paid off with a championship ring and a solid MLB career. Today, Duffy reaches the ten-year service time threshold as a big leaguer, an important milestone for a few reasons.

First, it is a testament to Duffy’s longevity. He is one of just 19 players to spend at least ten seasons with the Royals.

Royals with at least ten seasons with the club

Player # of seasons Years Teams
Player # of seasons Years Teams
George Brett 21 1973-1993 KCR
Frank White 18 1973-1990 KCR
Hal McRae 15 1973-1987 CIN, KCR
Paul Splittorff 15 1970-1984 KCR
Willie Wilson 15 1976-1990 KCR, OAK, CHC
Alex Gordon 14 2007-2020 KCR
Amos Otis 14 1970-1983 NYM, KCR, PIT
Kevin Appier 13 1989-99, 2003-04 KCR, OAK, NYM, ANA
Mark Gubicza 13 1984-1996 KCR, ANA
Mike Sweeney 13 1995-2007 KCR, OAK, SEA, PHI
Dennis Leonard 12 1974-1986 KCR
Jeff Montgomery 12 1988-1999 CIN, KCR
Danny Duffy 11 2011-2021 KCR
Mike MacFarlane 11 1987-1998 KCR, BOS, OAK
Jamie Quirk 11 1975-76, 78-82, 85-88 KCR, MIL, STL, CHW, CLE, NYY, OAK, BAL
Larry Gura 10 1976-1985 CHC, NYY, KCR
Salvador Perez 10 2011-2021 KCR
Dan Quisenberry 10 1979-1988 KCR, STL, SFG
John Wathan 10 1976-1985 KCR

Jarrod Dyson also hit the ten years of service time mark earlier last week, although he has not yet played ten years with the Royals.

Duffy reflected on his decade-long career so far with Taylor Davis.

“You realize how special it is every second that goes by. This walk of life, as to every walk of life, will have some tough spots and put you through some tough things and a lot of my battles were self-inflicted. So you learn the hard way, you learn on the go, and you become better for it.

And - gosh - with everything that’s gone on over the last year, it’s just a really special job that we get to go out and do. It’s like you’ve never worked a day in your life. This is my fifteenth season with this organization and I just appreciate every second that goes by more and more.”

Second, it means Duffy is fully vested in MLB’s pension program, which can pay him $68,000 annually if he draws early at age 45, or can pay him even more if he waits until he is 62.

And finally, it means that Danny Duffy now has 10-and-5 rights, meaning he can veto any trade. This is a right negotiated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that gives any player with ten years of service time - the last five of which are with the same team - the right to control where he is traded.

With Duffy in the last year of his contract and a potential candidate for this summer’s trade deadline, this could have big ramifications for what the Royals do this summer. Duffy has been very vocal about his desire to stay in Kansas City. But he could perhaps welcome a trade with the expectation that he’ll return on a deal with the Royals next season, a win-win situation that can give Duffy a shot at the playoffs, and give the Royals a young prospect that can improve their future. Duffy may have a desire to play in his native California, and the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres are all potential buyers at the deadline.

Whatever happens with Duffy, he has been a fun guy to root for, showing the kind of loyalty and love for the team that fans appreciate. For that, we salute you Danny, for ten years of MLB service time!