Guardians, Dusten Knight Agree To Minor League Deal

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The Guardians have agreed to a minor league deal with reliever Dusten Knight, reports Paul Hoynes of 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 KellyTouki ToussaintLuis OviedoPeyton BattenfieldCaleb Baragar and Phillip Diehl among the non-roster pitchers who have some MLB experience in Cleveland’s camp.

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