With less than a week to go before the trade deadline, contending teams continue to kick the tires on the players that might be available. With pitching always coveted, teams have been checking in on Royals lefty Danny Duffy, even as he is out with an injury. Duffy was placed on the Injured List last week with a flexor strain, which would likely keep him out until September.
Last week, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Giants had interest in Duffy, and his injured status won’t deter them or others suitors.
That does not rule out the Giants, according to those with knowledge of the situation. In fact, the Giants — or any team pursing Duffy, a list that reportedly includes the Dodgers and Padres — might have to provide fewer or lesser prospects in return, given his injury status. Injuries don’t give San Francisco much pause in general;
The Giants have surprised the league by running out to the best record in the National League and could look to take advantage of their hot start. Slusser says the team could also be in the market for an outfielder and first baseman, and with Nick Pratto playing so well in the minors, perhaps the Royals would be willing to send Carlos Santana to San Fransisco as well.
The team chasing the Giants in the standings may also be interested in Duffy, with Mark Feinsand of MLB.com confirming Slusser’s report that the Dodgers were also looking at the 32-year old left-hander. Club president Andrew Friedman told reporters earlier this month that pitching would be a focus of the club at the deadline. Slusser also suggested the Padres could be a suitor, and Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Sunday that San Diego was “working to acquire a starting pitcher” after picking up Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier.
Duffy is in the last year of his five-year, $65 million deal, and now has 10-5 rights, meaning he can veto any trade. The California native has been rumored to be open to returning to his home state. Duffy has had two stints on the Injured List with a flexor strain, but when healthy he has been very effective this year. In 61 innings, he has 65 strikeouts and 22 walks with a 2.51 ERA.
Because of Duffy’s injury, don’t expect a huge haul for Duffy, particularly if the Royals are unwilling to eat the remainder of his salary. But teams will always need pitching, and he can fill a role as a starter or reliever. A contender may look to acquire him with the hopes he can get his feet wet in a few September outings and be ready to be a contributor in the post-season.