Washington Nationals: Danny Duffy a great trade target


The Washington Nationals have a need for a starting pitcher, and they have been weighing several options. Danny Duffy is a great trade target, and deserves consideration.

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has been known to negotiate fantastic trades, and he may need to do so again this off-season. With a ridiculously expensive free agent market, the Nats best avenue to acquire a starting pitcher may be the trade market.

If the Nats elect to acquire a starting pitcher via trade, Danny Duffy is a great option. Duffy, a 28-year-old starting pitcher with the Kansas City Royals, has put together a solid seven-year career and could be moved this off-season.

With Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Alcides Escobar all currently free agents, the Royals are in a bit of disarray. These players have served as the foundation of the team for several seasons, but could all be playing elsewhere in 2018.

If they all depart in free agency, the Royals may decide to begin a rebuild and trade some of their proven players for prospects. That’s where Duffy comes into play.

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Duffy is oozing in trade value, and is one of the Royals’ top trade chips. He is under team control for another four seasons, and is reasonably affordable at $15 million. In today’s game, $15 million for a pitcher in his prime is nearly unheard of.

Throughout his seven-year career, Duffy has pitched to a 3.73 ERA, so he has certainly been consistently reliable. He is also entering his prime, at 28 years old, and would be moving from the American League to the National League, which typically helps pitchers.

The fact that Duffy is under team control for the next four seasons is also noteworthy. Gio Gonzalez‘s contract expires after 2018, and Tanner Roark‘s expires after 2019, so the Nats could potentially lose a member of their starting rotation in each of the next two off-seasons. Acquiring Duffy could provide some stability in the rotation behind Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

Another way that Duffy could be beneficial to the Nats is his postseason experience. 2018 figures to be an enormous year for the Nats, as they have several stars set to become free agents after the season, so they are all in to win it all.

Unfortunately, the Nats have yet to win a postseason series since returning to DC in 2005. Despite winning the second-most regular season games in the league since 2012, they have not been able to get it done in the playoffs.

One strategy for attempting to get over the hump in the postseason is filling the team with players possessing postseason experience, and Duffy fits the bill. Throughout his career, he has pitched in nine postseason games, including two World Series in 2014 and 2015.

Considering Duffy’s postseason experience, he could be just what the Nats need to finally get over the hump in the 2018 postseason.

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The Nats have several choices to fill their rotation need, in both the free agent and trade markets. If they elect to fill it via trade, which appears to be the better option, Danny Duffy is definitely worth considering.