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Danny Duffy Speaks on Future in MLB: ‘We’re Going to Play’

The former Royals pitcher plans on returning to baseball for the 2022 season — and potentially beyond.

Over the past few months, the baseball world has been waiting for an indication of whether Danny Duffy would be returning to the game in 2022. That answer appears to be about as close to a resounding "yes" as possible.

Duffy, a longtime member of the Kansas City Royals, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers at this year's deadline in an effort to recoup a prospect and allow Duffy to play for the team he grew up rooting for. Unfortunately, a flexor strain held him out of in-game action for the rest of the season. While the Dodgers made a run to the National League Championship Series, Duffy watched from the dugout.

With baseball now locked out and free agency being put on a temporary hold, Duffy's future is becoming a bit clearer. In a recent article written by Andy McCullough of The Athletic, the 32-year-old lefty addressed offseason surgery he had to repair his flexor tendon. Tommy John surgery was a fear but once that option was avoided, Duffy went from possibly considering retirement to being all-in on returning to pitching next season. Per McCullough:

“I’m pumped,” Duffy said on Wednesday, as he drove through the hills near his home outside Lompoc, Calif. “I was going to take it to the house. But I got the itch. I’ve got more in the tank, for sure.”

Duffy continued, in the article, to say "we're full-go" and "we're going to play" when asked about his 2022 outlook. McCullough writes that Duffy plans to be ready to pitch by the beginning of June. In that scenario, any team looking for some left-handed help in their pitching staff could pursue someone who was stellar in 2021 before injuries derailed what was a very promising season.

While Duffy is likely a reliever next year, McCullough adds that "if his elbow remains stable, he believes he still has several serviceable years left as a starter." At any rate, this doesn't seem to be the last we'll see of Duffy. Once the lockout ends — whenever that is — and he can communicate with teams again, expect at least a few of them to be interested in acquiring his services. Will the Royals be among those squads? Only time will tell.

Read More: Should the Royals Bring Danny Duffy Back? It’s Complicated