Kansas City Royals: Five year extension for Danny Duffy

The Kansas City Royals have signed left-hander Danny Duffy a five year contract extension

Much has been made about the Kansas City Royals pending free agent class. They traded Wade Davis earlier in the off-season who was going into the final year of his deal. Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar will all be free agents after 2017. On the pitching side, Ian Kennedy can opt out of his contract after 2017 while Jason Vargas will be a free agent. Danny Duffy would have been a free agent too until this afternoon.

The Royals had Duffy alternate between starter and reliever, even last season, but Duffy finally emerged as the starter that Royals had been waiting for all along. Duffy remained in the rotation throughout the second half of the season and went 12-3 as a starter last season with a 3.56 ERA. He struck out 167 batters in 161 innings as a starter.

The extension for Duffy and Yordano Ventura gives the Royals two starters who are locked up to long term deals. Even as the rest of the core gets more expensive and possibly traded during 2017, it gives the Royals some building blocks along with catcher Salvador Perez.

Duffy may have been their most important guy to lock up to a long term deal out of their pending free agents. With their trades for Johnny Cueto and  Ben Zobrist during their 2015 championship run, the pitching prospect depth was compromised.

Kyle Zimmer has been injured quite a bit. Matt Strahm came up last season, but was used mainly out of the bullpen. Alec Mills, Miguel Almonte and Jake Junis reached AAA last season, but all struggled and there are questions as to whether or not they are starters long term.

Going out and buying starters is pricey as the Royals learned from their contracts for Kennedy and Vargas that you need to also develop your own. The Royals did that with Duffy and Ventura and were able to lock them up long term.  This deal gives the Royals one less question mark in 2017 and beyond.

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