The Guardians have agreed to a minor league deal with reliever Dusten Knight, reports Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com. Assuming he passes a physical, he’ll get a non-roster invitation to MLB camp. Knight is represented by Big League Management Company.
Knight, 32, has spent a decade in the professional ranks since being drafted by the Giants in 2013. He reached the majors for the first time in 2021 as a member of the Orioles, pitching seven times and tallying 8 2/3 innings. Knight signed a non-roster deal with the Rays last winter after Baltimore ran through him waivers. He bounced on and off Tampa Bay’s active roster on a few occasions, ultimately getting into six contests and tossing 11 innings.
Over his two seasons, the Oklahoma native has worked 19 2/3 frames of 18-run ball. He’s fanned 20 hitters, walked nine and picked up swinging strikes on a roughly average 11% of his offerings. Knight’s fastball only checked in at 89.5 MPH on average last season, though he leaned more frequently on an upper-70s changeup and mid-80s cutter.
While Knight hasn’t carved out a consistent role in a big league bullpen, he’s allowed fewer than four earned runs per nine innings in each of the last two Triple-A seasons. He posted a 3.05 ERA over 35 outings with Baltimore’s top affiliate in 2021 and put up a 3.42 mark through 55 1/3 frames for the Rays’ affiliate in Durham last season. Knight induced grounders at a decent 47.8% mark and struck out an impressive 27.7% of opponents for Durham, though that came with an alarming 13.4% walk percentage.
Knight still has two minor league option years remaining. If he cracks the Guardians 40-man roster at any point, they can bounce him between Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus for the next couple seasons. He joins Michael Kelly, Touki Toussaint, Luis Oviedo, Peyton Battenfield, Caleb Baragar and Phillip Diehl among the non-roster pitchers who have some MLB experience in Cleveland’s camp.
touki, baragar, diehl, him will all be valuable out of the guardians pitching stable if injuries or otherwise require their tier of depth arms