1. Danny Duffy
Maybe criticizing the first two on this list was reaching. After all, gambling ~$6 million in hopes two guys would return to form and provide value three times that amount isn’t exactly bad business.
But trading for an injured Danny Duffy, absorbing the remaining ~$6-$7 million of his 2021 salary, watching him not throw a pitch for you after said trade deadline, re-signing him in the offseason for $3 million (with a $7 million team option for 2023!), and then seeing him suffer a setback this week only to likely be ruled out for the remainder of the season just makes Dodgers fans feel INSANE.
Manager Dave Roberts recently told reporters that it’s “pretty unlikely” Duffy makes it back at some point this season after the incident in his rehab. The Dodgers traded for him knowing he was injured and knowing there was a risk for surgery. Duffy ended up requiring flexor tendon surgery months after the trade and has been out ever since.
That’s at least $9 million invested in a player who has yet to even sniff the field for you! And we’re not talking about a signing bonus for a promising international stud. Or even a first-round draft pick. This is a 33-year-old veteran whose best days are far in the rearview despite a mini resurgence in 13 games during the first half of 2021.
It doesn’t even matter what the Royals got in return for the left-hander. They won the trade had they only received a bag of baseballs. They offloaded cash and Duffy hasn’t logged an inning for the Dodgers.
Maybe Friedman’s one flaw is trying to get ahead with deals like this? Maybe no more of these when the offseason arrives. Thanks.