As expected, Minnesota Twins right-handed pitcher Randy Dobnak has passed through waivers unclaimed and has accepted his assignment to Triple-A. Dobnak was able to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency having accumulated over three years of MLB service time, but he lacks the five years of service time necessary to do so without forfeiting any salary — $800k for the 2022 season, increasing to $1.5MM next year, $2.25MM in 2024, and $3M in 2025, with team options and buyouts for the 2026-28 seasons.
Dobnak made his Major League debut in 2019, pitching 28 1/3 innings with a 1.59 ERA. He followed that up with a more modest 4.05 ERA in 46 2/3 innings in 2020 before signing a five-year, $9.25MM extension, which could increase to $29.75MM, with the Twins prior to the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, Dobnak then missed the majority of the 2021 season with injuries, pitching only 50 2/3 innings to a poor 7.82 ERA before being shut down with a right middle finger strain that lingered into Spring Training this year. Dobnak’s struggles continued into the 2022 season during his rehab process, giving up nine earned runs in 8 2/3 innings in Triple-A St. Paul, leading to his DFA.
With the Twins’ current core of Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray, and Chris Archer (when healthy) there was no space for Dobnak. Even with a roughly average bullpen, 3.85 ERA and 24.7% strikeout rate, the front office decided that Dobnak would not be an addition to the team’s playoff push. Rather than reinstall him onto the 40-man roster after his time on the injured list was up, they moved to pass him through waivers. He’ll try to work his back onto the roster in Triple-A.