Kansas City Royals trade pitcher Danny Duffy to LA Dodgers for player to be named

Lynn Worthy
The Kansas City Star (TNS)
The Kansas City Royals traded veteran pitcher Danny Duffy (30) to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday for a player to be named later.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Veteran left-hander Danny Duffy, who has spent his entire career in the Kansas City Royals organization — and once famously took to social media with the phrase "Bury me a Royal" in response to trade rumors — is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two teams announced the deal late Thursday afternoon following the final game of the Royals' series against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

Duffy had the right to refuse any trade by virtue of his 10-5 status as a veteran player with 10 years in the league and at least five consecutive seasons with the same organization.

The Royals (45-56) will receive a player to be named later in exchange for Duffy.

ESPN's Jeff Passan first reported the pending trade. The MLB trade deadline was Friday.

While speaking to reporters following the announcement of the Duffy trade, Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he'd continue to listen to offers for players with expiring contracts.

But Moore was frank about his reluctance to trade players with years remaining on their contracts.

"I don't want to trade Mikey Minor. I don't want to trade Whit Merrifield. I don't want to trade Carlos Santana," Moore said.

Duffy, 32, has gone 4-3 with a 2.51 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and a .226 opponent's batting average in 13 games (12 starts). He has 65 strikeouts, 22 walks and 52 hits allowed in 61 innings.

Duffy has been on the injured list for the Royals since July 17 with a left flexor strain, his second IL stint of the season with an injury related to the forearm. He also spent May 17-June 22 on the IL with a flexor strain.

Before his first IL stint, Duffy had been having one of the best seasons of his career. At that time, he had a 4-3 record with a 1.94 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, a .222 opponent's batting average, 48 strikeouts and 12 walks in 41 2/3 innings. He had the seventh-best ERA among qualifying pitchers in the majors.

Duffy did not go on a rehab assignment when he returned from the IL, but the Royals experimented with having him build up his pitch count in major-league games while also being available in relief out of the bullpen.

He made one relief appearance in his six outings following his first trip to the IL. In those six outings, he posted a 3.72 ERA with a .236 opponent's batting average. He gave up eight runs on 17 hits (four home runs) and 10 walks in 19 1/3 innings, and he struck out 17.

Earlier this week, Moore said he expected Duffy to pitch again this season and that his return could come within the next three to four weeks.

A native of Lompoc, California, Duffy is in the final year of a five-year, $65 million contract he signed with the Royals prior to the 2017 season.

Duffy, a third-round draft pick out of Cabrillo High School in 2007, made his major-league debut with the Royals in May 2011, several months before longtime teammate Salvador Perez debuted in August.

The longest-tenured Royals player, Duffy was part of the 2014 AL championship and 2015 World Series championship clubs.

In response to trade rumors in the winter of 2017, Duffy posted on Twitter, "Bury me a Royal."

He elaborated in a subsequent tweet: "I have been a part of the @Royals for more than 1/3 of my life," Duffy wrote. "For that, (I) am beyond thankful. Kansas City has been a part of my upbringing. And (I'm) so thankful for that. From the plaza, to OP, to Independence, to PnL, (I) am eternally thankful. I hope to be here til the end."

Duffy will be a free agent at the end of this season.