The Royals announced they’ve acquired right-handed pitching prospect Zach Willeman from the Dodgers. The move completes the clubs’ July 29 deal that sent left-hander Danny Duffy to Los Angeles.
Willeman, 25, is a former 19th-round pick by Los Angeles. A starter early in his minor league career, he worked exclusively out of the bullpen this past season with Double-A Tulsa. Over 47 2/3 frames of relief, he pitched to a 3.78 ERA with an above-average 28.2% strikeout rate but an elevated 11% walk percentage. The Royals will need to add Willeman to the 40-man roster or leave him exposed in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. If he earns a spot on the 40-man, he could be a bullpen option at the big league level at some point next season.
The Dodgers ultimately got nothing out of their low-cost flier on Duffy. The veteran southpaw was on the injured list with a flexor strain at the time of the deal. Expected to return a few weeks after the trade, Duffy unfortunately had a setback and was shut down for the season. He’ll be a free agent this winter.