Right-hander Tyler Duffey is opting out of his minor league contract with the Rangers, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray (Twitter link). Duffey only joined the organization a little over two weeks ago, but is now exercising one of the several opt-out clauses that was reportedly part of the deal.
Duffey has a 4.91 ERA over 44 innings with the Twins this season, with below-average walk and strikeout rates and a host of other unimpressive metrics. This performance ended Duffey’s decade-long run in the organization, as Minnesota released him about a week prior to Duffey’s signing with Texas.
The Rangers will end up parting ways with Duffey at no cost, since they didn’t even have to pay the reliever a prorated minimum salary since Duffey didn’t reach the big leagues. Duffey and the Twins avoided arbitration this past winter by agreeing to a $3.8MM salary for the 2022 season, so if Duffey does land elsewhere and make it back to a Major League roster, the Twins will still be responsible for the bulk of that remaining salary (with the new team only paying the prorated portion of a minimum salary).
Duffey’s brief run at Triple-A Round Rock saw him pitch five scoreless innings over four appearances, though he did walk four batters in those five frames. Control was once a strength for the righty, but Duffey’s walk rate has dipped considerably over the last two seasons. Still, as uninspiring as Duffey’s 2022 performance has been, his quality work out of Minnesota’s bullpen in 2019-21 will likely convince another team to take a shot on another minors contract. As for the Rangers, they might have been more apt to give MLB innings to younger relievers down the stretch, rather than devote a roster spot to a veteran who will be a free agent after the season.