The Rays have signed right-hander Robert Dugger to a minor league contract, Baseball America’s Chris Hilburn-Trenkle notes as part of his latest transactions round-up. The 26-year-old has appeared in the majors in each of the past three seasons, suiting up with the Marlins and Mariners.
Dugger’s 12 appearances with Seattle last season marked a career-high. He started four of those games but never worked more than 3 1/3 innings, serving as more of a long relief type. Dugger posted a 7.36 ERA in 25 2/3 innings, striking out only 15.7% of opposing hitters. The Texas Tech product also had a rough season with Triple-A Tacoma, where he was tagged for a 6.10 ERA in 69 1/3 frames.
The M’s outrighted Dugger off their 40-man roster in August. He elected minor league free agency at the end of the season and will join the third organization of his career. Originally a Mariners draftee, Dugger was traded to Miami as part of the Dee Strange-Gordon deal. He debuted in the big leagues with the Marlins in 2019 but ended up back in Seattle last winter when they nabbed him off waivers from the Fish.
Dugger has made 23 big league appearances, including 12 starts. Owner of a 7.39 career ERA, he’s yet to find success at the major league level. Dugger has pitched pretty well up through Double-A, though, and he appeared among Baseball America’s Top 30 Marlins’ prospects each offseason from 2018-20. He’ll offer some swing depth to a Tampa Bay organization that is among the league’s most flexible with regards to pitcher usage.