The Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals are nearing an agreement on a trade that will send left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy to the west coast, the teams announced Thursday. Passan adds that the Royals will receive players to be named later in return.
Duffy, 32, is currently on the injured list because of a strained flexor. In 13 appearances (12 of them starts) this season, he's compiled a 2.51 ERA (183 ERA+) and a 2.95 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Duffy throws five pitches more than 10 percent of the time: a low-to-mid-90s fastball (and sinker), a slider, a changeup, and a curveball. His effectiveness can be credited in part to a deep release point, as he's able to generate roughly six feet and eight inches worth of extension -- or, that is, the distance from the pitching rubber to where he releases the ball.
It's worth noting that Duffy, an impending free agent, has experience as both a starter and a reliever. That background likely made him an appealing target to the Dodgers, who could use him in either role heading forward, depending on the availability of their other starters (Clayton Kershaw is on the injured list and Trevor Bauer is on administrative leave pending an investigation into abuse allegations) and their other deadline acquisitions.
At present, it's unclear if the Dodgers will be able to prevail in the sweepstakes for Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Should they fall short there -- and the San Diego Padres appear to be in the catbird seat -- then the Dodgers could look elsewhere for rotation help. Some of the top alternatives include José Berríos (Minnesota Twins) and Kyle Gibson (Texas Rangers). If the Dodgers wanted to get creative, they could also inquire on Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo López, though he's working his way back from an injury of his own.
Of course, the Dodgers could decide that their best rotation can be found in the form of a stronger, deeper bullpen. Already this deadline, the Dodgers have been tied to relievers like Craig Kimbrel (Chicago Cubs) and Daniel Hudson (Nationals).