Royals, left-hander Duffy agree to 5-year deal

Backloaded contract is worth $65 million, according to MLB.com source

Royals, left-hander Duffy agree to 5-year deal

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals locked in emerging ace lefty Danny Duffy to a five-year deal worth $65 million on Monday.

Duffy, who could have been a free agent after 2017, will be due $5 million in '17, $14 million in '18, $15.25 million in both '19 and '20 and $15.5 million in '21, according to an MLB.com source.

Duffy, 28, had asked for $8 million through arbitration in 2017, and the Royals countered at $7.25 million. By backloading the deal, Kansas City saved perhaps $2.25-$3 million from the '17 payroll, which they continue to trim from last season's $145 million total.

By signing Eric Hosmer to a one-year, $12.25 million deal Thursday and avoiding arbitration, and also factoring in the Wade Davis-for-Jorge Soler deal, the Royals potentially have saved about $10 million this offseason.

"We're very excited to have Danny Duffy with us for the next five years," Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore told MLB.com. "Danny is someone who fits in with our organization and within our community."

The Royals and Duffy began discussing a potential long-term deal last November, as reported by MLB.com. Those discussions heated up recently, and both sides were eager to get a deal done before Spring Training.

"He has begun to separate himself among the top left-handers in the game," Moore said. "As I said, very excited to know he'll be a Royal for quite some time."

Duffy, Royals agree to extension

Duffy posted a 3.51 ERA in 42 appearances (26 starts) last season. Duffy set a Royals record when he struck out 16 against Tampa Bay last August, while allowing one hit and no runs through eight innings. He struck out 188 through 179 2/3 innings on the season.

Duffy, a third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, had Tommy John surgery in '12.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.