Jeremy Guthrie was surprisingly good for the Royals after being shipped there from Colorado in the middle of the season, going 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 16 starts. And given that the Royals desperately need starting pitching, you’d think that they’d be all over trying to get Guthrie extended before he hits the free agent market.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s going to explore free agency,” general manager Dayton Moore said. “We’ll continue to monitor how that goes. He’s going to explore his options, and it’s important that we do as well.”
Bob Dutton of the K.C. Star reports
that Guthrie wants a three-year deal and that Kansas City is only willing to go two years. And I can see the reluctance given Guthrie’s less-than-astounding track record.
That said, I have the feeling that, given the new TV money sloshing around the sport, and given the relative dearth of top-tier free agent talent available, there will be some silly contracts handed out to pitchers this winter. Guthrie might get his three years from someone.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.