While the Royals began the year well, their performance has dropped off precipitously over the past couple months. They’ll come out of the All-Star Break a dismal 36-53, sitting in last place in the AL Central. Despite making some efforts last offseason to compete, the Royals have fallen flat.
With a postseason berth obviously out of the question, Kansas City would seem to be an obvious seller. However, the bulk of the roster is either controllable next season or performing badly enough to mute potential trade chatter (i.e. Jorge Soler, Greg Holland and Wade Davis). As a franchise, the Royals have shied away from a full-scale teardown and rebuild, so it might be a relatively quiet deadline season in K.C.
The Royals do have one impending free agent having a strong season, though: Danny Duffy. That’d generally make him a straightforward trade candidate, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that some rival executives do indeed expect the 32-year-old to change uniforms in the coming weeks. Certainly, Duffy’s 2.53 ERA/4.09 SIERA across 57 innings suggest he’d be an upgrade for most or all contenders’ rotations.
Duffy’s situation, though, could make a trade more difficult to pull off than appears at first glance. A flexor strain in his forearm knocked him out of action for more than a month earlier in the year. Duffy returned in late June, and he’s progressively building his workload at the major league level rather than embarking on a rehab assignment. He’s only once worked more than four innings since being activated, topping out at five frames and 77 pitches on July 8 against the Indians. There’s still a little more than two weeks before the deadline for him to continue to build back up, but some clubs might still harbor concerns about Duffy’s ability to shoulder a regular starter’s workload in the second half.
There’s also the personal implications to consider. Duffy’s a career-long Royal who hasn’t been shy about voicing his affinity for the organization in the past. He also exceeded ten years of major league service time last month. Players with ten years of MLB service, the past five of which have come with their current team, are entitled to full no-trade protection. If Duffy is completely set on finishing the year in Kansas City, he can block any deal. Sherman hears that Duffy, a California native, would prefer to be dealt to a West Coast club if he’s moved; that could suggest he’d be willing to waive his no-trade rights to facilitate the right deal, but it’s not entirely clear whether he’d need some type of concession to do so or whether he’d only approve a trade that involved a West Coast destination.
Duffy’s impending free agency adds another factor to the situation. A midseason trade wouldn’t foreclose the Royals from pursuing Duffy as a free agent this winter. Indeed, the organization has shown a proclivity for bringing back players — Holland, Davis, Mike Minor, Ervin Santana and Jarrod Dyson among them — who were one-time Royals who had since gone elsewhere. A trade could allow Kansas City to recoup some prospect value and give Duffy an opportunity to play in a 2021 pennant race without preventing the sides from reuniting in 2022.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the demand from contenders will be sufficient to make that kind of deal worthwhile. It’s also still an open question whether Duffy’s amenable to a midseason move, making his trade candidacy more complicated than is normal for impending free agents having productive seasons for non-contending teams.
The Royals have been very hesitant to trade anyone the last few years even when not in contention. Very strange as they could accelerate their window of opportunity and get back to a winning team by moving soon to be free agents
Hurting worse is making bonehead decisions like giving Hunter Dozier 25 million. This dude would’ve been an easy non tender this off-season. That has to be one of the most obvious poor extensions I’ve seen.
im honestly quite surprised they have fallen off as much as they have
How? They are now playing how they were supposed to. The beginning of the year was a fluke. They are settling back to where they should be this year.
Kike Can of Corn
I also find that strange. Rebuild in fits and starts. I think Duffy is an upgrade to plenty of playoff rotations, but I’m curious with their convoluted sense of loyalty if he’ll be moved at all
The Dodgers have to be in this conversation in a big way, especially now.
I thought the same thing especially with Bauer’s administrative leave being extended every week. Dodgers just need a rental, and being able to shuttle Duffy from the pen to the rotation may be just what they need.
The mondesi injuries have really hurt the offense was looking great before he went back down…and starting pitching has completely imploded since then as well
Hey Royals Fans, I do t get to see the Royals play a lot, so wondering does the team have any young prospects in the minors that will be on the big league team in the next year or so, also in your opinion, how did they fare in the draft this year. I would like to see the Royals return to the level of play from the days of Brett, White, Wilson and even UL “toothpick” Washington, as well as the 2015 team either the lockdown HDH bullpen.
Not a Royal fan, but they punted the first round! Could have had Rocker! Instead they signed an under slot player, and then never really selected players to use the saved money on.
They took two HS kids in the 2nd and 3rd round.
They’ll be getting over slot money. Kowar, Bubic, Lynch, Lacy, and Singer are at or near MLB ready. Looks like they wanted to plug multiple holes instead of blowing a draft on Rocker.
But the division is vulnerable now. Every team but the ChiSox aren’t very competitive. The Indians look like they’ll be selling Bieber in a year or two more so than building a great team around him. The SP magic seems to have finally worn off there.
Tigers are still trying to build it up. The Twins are caught somewhere in the middle. This would seem like the time the Royals would want to add college guys and take a crack at the division. But they didn’t go that way. Prospects can always be dealt for ML’ers though. And if these young HS kids take off in the minors they’ll be very valuable trade chips.
Yep it is
Too bad Matheny is still the Mgr. With someone half decent they would be at 500. Moore will hang onto to Duffy and wind up with nothing. That has been his MO.
You obviously don’t know much AT ALL!!!!!
Is Matheney to blame for Mondesi being on the injury list for the third time this year?
Matheny is a terrible manager. In my opinion and I watched every game the cardinals have played in for the last 10 years at least. Schildt has made some questionable decisions, but I tend to give latitude knowing although I know the game well he has access to more information than me and I trust Schildt.
SD needs arms, he’d be a good fit. He can come play with his old buddy Hosmer for a few months and the re-sign in KC this offseason.
Yankees need to start selling off some players instead of buying.
Theoretically yeah they should but their options are pretty limited when selling. They have hardly any impending FA.
Probably more likely to get a guy like Duffy or a reliever and then and say they’re going for it
Ducky Buckin Fent
Yanks need to patch some holes & keep sailing. No reason to run to harbor.
The only thing the Yankees could sell are rentals. And they don’t have too many of them. Britton’s hurt. Kluber is hurt. That’s about it for enticing rental pieces.
There’s really nothing to sell unless Cashman wants to shake up the core of the team. But Torres’ value is in the toilet. Lemahieu’s value is way down. Stanton is still immovable. Seems like you have to add or stay the course.
I could see Danny agreeing to be traded to the Padres because at least he would be with his old buddy Eric Hosmer. And they have decent prospects in their farm system and he wouldn’t have to shave (*cough* yankees *cough* )
Duffy to queens
Is that the Mets?
On the cheap i wouldn’t mind Duffy in Boston to finish out the year.
Holland, Davis, and Santana being regular members of the Royals really confused me.. I hadn’t they were all Royals.
Danny Duffy should win the award for most consecutive years mentioned in trade deadline chatter. I remember wanting my Phils to pick him up back in like 2016.