Danny Duffy will not be returning to the Royals this spring, instead signing a one-year deal with the Dodgers with a club option for 2023, according to reporter Robert Murray. The Royals traded Duffy to the Dodgers last July for a player to be named later, which turned out to be minor league pitcher Zach Willeman. Duffy never made an appearance for Los Angeles last year due to a left flexor tendon strain injury. That injury will keep him out until June this year.
Danny Duffy has passed his Dodgers physical, source said. He is expected to return around midseason and pitch out of the bullpen. The deal contains a club option for 2023 that is worth $7 million that can become $10 million if he pitches 15 games and 15 innings this season.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) March 18, 2022
Duffy considered retiring due to his injury, but he was able to avoid Tommy John surgery. He told Andy McCullough of The Athletic last December, “I was going to take it to the house. But I got the itch. I’ve got more in the tank, for sure.” He plans to pitch out of the bullpen to ease back into pitching after his injury.
The 33-year old lefty was off to a great start last year before he suffered a mid-season injury. In 13 games he had a 2.51 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 61 innings. Duffy had spent his entire 11-year career with the Royals, winning 68 games in 1172 1⁄3 innings, worth 19.8 rWAR. It’s not clear if the Royals pursued Duffy, although they certainly had a need for left-handed relievers before they acquired Amir Garrett from the Reds this week.