Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals have agreed to a 5 year, $65 million contract extension, according to Jeff Passan on Twitter.
Duffy, who just turned 28, was going to be one of the more interesting potential free agents this coming offseason. He has terrific stuff and front line starter potential, but Tommy John surgery de-railed his career, and he’s split time between the rotation and the bullpen the past three seasons. Last year, Duffy set career highs in starts (26) and innings pitched (179.2) while also appearing in 16 games in relief, while putting up a 3.51 ERA.
Duffy was probably looking at $7-8 million in arbitration, so this is tantamount to buying out four free agent years at around $14M per year. This gives Duffy security, while also giving him another potential big free agent payday after his age 32 season, if he performs at a high level over the life of this deal.
Passan says (and I agree) that Duffy could have potentially gotten a $100M deal this offseason with a strong 2017 season, so there’s the potential that he’s leaving money on the table, but for a guy who signed for a $365,000 bonus in 2007, and who even last year made “just” $4.225M, I think its not unreasonable for him to take the life-changing guaranteed deal, given that, as Passan notes, he’s never had a full season as a starter.
The Royals, meanwhile, have locked up a potential #2 starter for an annual salary around what #4s are getting.
UPDATE — Salary breakdown.
Here are the year-by-year numbers on the Duffy extension:— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) January 16, 2017
2017 - $5.0m
2018 - $14.0m
2019 - $15.25m
2020 - $15.25m
2021 - $15.5m