Mariners Trade a Day- Danny Duffy
We asked you on Twitter and you responded. Today, we dive into another potential Mariners trade target. This time, we are headed to Kansas City to check on the price of a left-handed starter.
The Seattle Mariners have outperformed their current talent level, particularly in the starting rotation. I don’t consider this remotely controversial, but if you do, I only ask 1 question: do you really think Wade LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales will be this good all season? If you’re being honest with yourself, the answer is no.
This is not to say they won’t be good, solid options. But right now, Gonzales is pitching as a #2 and LeBlanc a #3. I think we can safely say that this level of production is unsustainable, and that’s if both can make it another 15-18 starts.
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All of this is a long-winded way of saying that Jerry Dipoto would be wise to add another starter into the mix. But who could that pitcher be? The market for starting pitching will belong to sellers, as there is a dearth of quality options available.
Besides that, the number of teams looking for a starter means the Mariners will likely be forced to try and win a bidding war. When it comes to prospect collateral, Dipoto cannot really afford bidding wars and auctions.
However, what he lacks in prospects, he might be able to make up for it with another trade asset: money. The Mariners do not have an unlimited supply of cash on hand. They have already spent about half of the $12 million they saved thanks to Robinson Cano’s suspension.
However, if Seattle is serious about ending their 16-year playoff drought, they cannot afford to pinch pennies at this moment. Think of a deal similar to the Mike Leake trade. Take on money to minimize the cost of acquisition.
This idea leads us to today’s trade target: Danny Duffy, the left-handed pitcher of the Kansas City Royals.
Danny Duffy, a 2007 third round pick, really exploded onto the scene in 2014 and has been a solid starter for the entirety of his career. In 2016, Duffy had his best season, posting a 3.51 ERA over 179.2 innings. In addition, he struck out 188 batters while walking just 42.
Duffy parlayed this breakout season into a new 5-year extension. He followed up his 2016 breakout with a solid 2017 campaign, posting a 3.81 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 41 walks in 146.1 innings.
However, 2018 has been a different story. In Duffy’s 14 starts, he posted a 5.28 ERA (5.63 FIP), while striking out just 64 batters in 74 innings. Even more disturbing, is the 37 walks surrendered to his opponents.
The velocity is still right in line with his career norms. But his slider has gone from very good to bad in 2018. Without the slider, Duffy is having to rely on his 92 mph fastball, and the results haven’t been great.
Because of this, and his contract, it is tough to peg the value of Danny Duffy’s trade market. I reached out to our friends at KingsofKauffman.com, and this is what they had to say:
"Duffy, in my opinion, is on the market. The catch is it will probably have to be a deal that takes all his contract, if not nearly all of it…. As of right now it would probably have to be a Top-7 to Top-15 prospect, and someone who is in the AAA range but someone they can move…"
So as you can see, the Royals would be looking for a team that can eat almost all of Duffy’s contract. So what are we looking at? Duffy is due about $8 million for the rest of this season, then $15 million for each of the 3 seasons after. So the Mariners would have to add $53 million in payroll over the next 3 1/2 seasons.
With Nelson Cruz and Felix Hernandez coming off the books in 2018 and 2019, it might not be impossible. So what would the Mariners offer need to look like? Again, our friends at Kings of Kauffman have an idea:
"I’d imagine someone like Juan Querecuto, Luis Liberato, Donnie Walton, and a lower prospect would probably be what the Royals look for. They want young, good stuff, could be close but a 2020/2021 ETA is a desired time frame."
So, what do you think? Using MLB Pipeline as a guide, this deal would have the Mariners giving up their numbers 12, 16, and 21st prospect for Duffy, and eating his entire contract.
Our proposal would call for a little more financial help from KC, but would obviously need to give up “higher quality” prospects. With that in mind, here is our proposal:
The Mariners trade Max Povse, Juan Querecuto, Ariel Miranda, and Donnie Walton to Kansas City for Danny Duffy and $13 million cash.
This deal gives the Royals 2 young potential starting pitchers and 2 prospects who could be MLB ready by 2021. In the case of Querecuto, the Royals have a high upside prospect who could next them a nice player in a year or 2 if they wish to accelerate their timeline.
Next: Mariners Trade a Day: Leonys Martin
So there you have it. A long article with 2 different trade proposals! What do you think? Is Danny Duffy worth the Mariners time? If so, which offer do you like better?