The Dodgers on Wednesday sent minor league pitcher Zach Willeman to the Royals as the player to be named later to complete the July 29 trade for pitcher Danny Duffy.
Willeman had a 3.78 ERA and 3.69 FIP in 33 relief appearances for Double-A Tulsa in 2021, with 59 strikeouts (a 28.2-percent strikeout rate) and 23 walks in 47⅔ innings. The Dodgers drafted the right-hander in the 19th round in 2017 out of Kent State.
Last December, Willeman was rated among the Dodgers’ top 51 prospects by Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs, though on the current list, which includes everyone with a 35 future value grade or higher on the 20-80 scouting scale, Willeman is not listed.
Duffy was acquired from Kansas City one day before the trade deadline. The veteran left-hander, who grew up a Dodgers fan, had a 2.51 ERA and 3.40 FIP in 13 games for the Royals, including 12 starts, with 65 strikeouts and 22 walks in 61 innings. He was on the injured list with a left flexor strain, and the Dodgers hoped he would be able to pitch in some capacity by late August or early September.
But Duffy’s rehab slowed, and he was transferred to the 60-day injured list on August 9. That put his earliest possible return at September 15, but the left-hander remained on the IL for the rest of the season.
Duffy, 32, will be a free agent at the end of the World Series.