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REPORT: Twins and Dobnak Agree to Five-Year Deal

According to Jeff Passan, the Minnesota Twins and RHP Randy Dobnak have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will buy out his arbitration seasons, and potentially more.According to Jeff Passan, the deal guarantees Dobnak $9.25 million, but with options and escalators, it could potentially be worth another $20 million over three more seasons.



Much has been made of the Randy Dobnak story, and for good reasons. He went to Division II Alderson-Broadas in West Virginia. He went to the United Shores Professional Baseball League. The Twins soon signed him to a minor league contract near the end of the 2017 season.


He spent the entire 2018 season in Low-A Cedar Rapids.


Yes, like many other minor league players, Dobnak was an Uber driver, with a fantastic rating.


Then in 2019, Dobnak started at High-A, moved up to Double-A, then Triple-A and ultimately made his MLB debut. Not only that, he pitched well and was the Twins' Game 2 starter in Yankees Stadium in the playoffs.


Last year, he tied for the team-lead with six Wins. He was great the first six weeks of the season before struggling with his command in the season's final weeks.


This offseason, the Twins added veterans J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker as their fourth and fifth starters. Dobnak came to spring training and then added a slider that has made him somewhat of a strikeout pitcher aside from a groundball machine. Dobnak is expected to start the 2021 season in the Twins bullpen.


The story continues to be a great one for Randy Dobnak.


Here is the breakdown of the deal:



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First let me say this is a first for the Twins extending a young home grown starting pitcher.  The Twins just haven't been a team to get out in front in deals like this. They especially never want to do these deals for pitchers.  I guess TINSTAAP?  Well they broke that mold today.


IMO the Twins see what I see, a guy ready to breakout and be a top of the rotation starter.  Best to strike before it is too late.  There also seems to be some poetic justice since they demoted possibly their second best pitcher (if the K rate holds). So this should make up for that.


I think it is a good move.  Randy has the security that if anything does go wrong with his arm or body he has life changing money.  The Twins get an incentive laden deal that pays for performance and let's them off the hook if he gets injured or becomes ineffective.


Randy has to be a happy guy today and the Twins just as happy. Very surprised to see this today but it is nice to see our team making an early deal for once.

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Is that more than he made driving Uber? 

Should give the player quite a Lyft.


If Cinderella suddenly turns into a pumpkin, the team is saddled for five years with a payroll-crippling average annual expense of almost two millio-... uh, never mind.


Looks like the Twins' analytics team likes him more than the average player rating outfit does, but assuming so, then this does look like a win-win contract. Dobnak's rep no doubt spelled out the scenarios, but even if the player likes to bet on himself, a hard-eyed look at his situation should include the view that if he encounters any bumps on the road he wouldn't get as many chances to redeem himself as a more highly touted player might. He may have settled a little cheaply, but he's locked in a good life outcome, so it makes sense from his side. And the Twins, being the larger partner in this deal, can afford to underwrite the risk, while potentially reaping some financial savings if he turns into a mid-rotation workhorse for several years; he doesn't even have to be a 50-50 shot at achieving this to make it a good bet for the team.


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This is great for Randy but I also don't see how the Twins could possibly lose with this contract.


$9.25 million for five years, that's not even $2 million per year. Even if he gets hurt and never pitches an inning again, that's hardly crippling the Twins.


That kind of money is what a somewhat decent reliever makes on the open market and I think "somewhat decent reliever" is Randy's absolute floor.


If he manages to stick as a starter, this contract could turn into an absolute steal. Shrewd move.

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It's 5 years, $8.25 million, with three option years, and a buyout of $1million after the 2025 season. So AAV of 1.65 million. He would have gotten about 1.25 over then next two years total, so 3 yrs, 7 mil added to that is fair both ways for his player type.


I think the Twins realize his new pitch puts him in a new category. He had everything already except an out pitch.

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Good for him. A bird in the hand.....  He and his family are set for life no matter what happens.  What was that deal Duffy made a few years ago with his contract/earnings?  I can't remember the details.

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  This is going to like like an awfully good move when he's in the rotation and putting up solid numbers over the second half of the year, and again when he's in the rotation next year.

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Super bargain fur the next Dallas Keuchel!


And lifetime financial security for a guy two years from his first arbitration.


Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


Now all that’s left is fur him to win the Cy Young award -- this year! Not a totally crazy sleeper pick, either, especially if Donaldson, Simmons and Buxton stay healthy.


As a Twins fan, I am thrilled!

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At some point this season he's going to be in the rotation and he's going to probably stay there for good, 2022 certainly.


Will he be good enough to be a #2? #3? We'll see. But this is great for both sides. And I love the incentives if and when he really takes off.

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Interesting side note that may mean nothing: Dobnak has the same agent as Nick Anderson

In related news, Anderson needs ligament surgery and will be out half the season. Bad break.


Great news for both parties here, I think. Let's hope Dobnak gets some good financial advice. He's only set for life if he plans for it. My guess is he's got that under control. I hope it's true, for him and all the other players who sign good multi-year deals.


I have a friend who worked as a financial planner for a sports agency. She said that it was an incredible chore keeping players from investing in whatever their friends thought was a good idea (Burger King franchises were very popular ideas for a while). She also said that of all the athletes, baseball players were the hardest to manage because a lot of them had not only never been to college but sometimes hadn't finished high school and the amounts of money just seemed unlimited to them. Not much life experience or trying to manage money independently. Fortunately for Randy he's got a ton of life experience.


It would be interesting to know what kind of help agents give, or don't give, their clients and how it varies.



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Fantastic news.  Great job by the front office and his agent in finding the middle ground; the legendary, rarely seen and much sought "win-win"!!  I'm thrilled for Randy and thrilled for the Twins.  Congratulations all.  

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