The Royals formally announced the extension on Twitter:
Kansas City Royals @Royals
We have agreed to a five-year contract with Danny Duffy, beginning in 2017 and running through the 2021 season. #ForeverRoyal https://t.co/2Fee5xFFj12017-1-16 19:02:59
The Kansas City Star's Rustin Dodd shared a yearly breakdown of the contract:
Rustin Dodd @rustindodd
Here are the year-by-year numbers on the Duffy extension: 2017 - $5.0m 2018 - $14.0m 2019 - $15.25m 2020 - $15.25m 2021 - $15.5m2017-1-16 19:04:26
Duffy was under team control for one more season before he was set to become a free agent next winter, per Spotrac.
The 28-year-old left-hander went 12-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 42 appearances for the Royals in 2016. He began the year in the bullpen before making his first start May 15 and emerging as the Royals' ace.
According to FanGraphs, Duffy finished with a 3.56 ERA and 3.99 FIP in 26 starts, both of which were the lowest among Kansas City's regular starting pitchers. Duffy also averaged a career-best 9.42 strikeouts and 2.10 walks per nine innings.
With major question marks over the starting rotation, re-signing Duffy was a great move for Kansas City. Edinson Volquez signed with the Miami Marlins, Ian Kennedy was disappointing in the first year of his five-year deal, and Yordano Ventura took a big step backward in 2016.
Keeping Duffy for the next five years stabilizes the staff, and an average of $13 million is a more than reasonable salary. He won't even be the highest-paid starter. Kennedy, who is four years older, will earn an average of roughly $15.6 million for the next four seasons, per Spotrac.
ESPN.com's Dan Szymborski tweeted that Duffy's deal gives the Royals some flexibility:
Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski
Duffy 5/65 is a tremendous deal. Kudos to the Royals. He should still be tradable if the team collapses next season.2017-1-16 19:16:02
Kansas City made back-to-back World Series in 2014 and 2015, winning a title the second time around, but general manager Dayton Moore said in October he expected the team's payroll to "regress a little bit" after the Royals spent relatively big in pursuit of a World Series ring, per Dodd.
Duffy's extension is evidence, however, that Kansas City's ownership is still willing to invest in the team to ensure it remains competitive in 2017 and beyond.