Reds righty Robert Dugger went unclaimed on outright waivers following his second DFA of the month and has accepted another outright assignment to Triple-A Louisville, per Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link).
As a player who’s previously been outrighted, Dugger could’ve rejected the assignment and ventured out into free agency. However, after a whirlwind series of transactions that’s seen him thrice designated for assignment this month alone, he’ll opt for the more stable route and head to Louisville in hopes of a swift return to the big leagues.
Dugger, 26, opened the season in the Rays organization after signing a minor league deal in late March. He was selected to the big league roster on May 1 and promptly gave Tampa Bay 5 1/3 innings of long relief (eight hits, three runs, no walks, seven strikeouts), only to be designated for assignment the following day. The Reds claimed Dugger and deployed him for three innings of long relief themselves (three runs, five hits, one walk, five punchouts). Again, Dugger was designated for assignment the following day. Cincinnati added him to the 40-man roster a second time on May 12 but designated him for assignment a third time on May 14, before he’d appeared in a game.
An 18th-round pick of the Mariners back in 2016, Dugger has spent parts of the past four seasons in the Majors but never appeared in more than a dozen games in any given season. He’s been hit hard in 79 Major League frames, evidenced by a 7.29 ERA, and his Triple-A track record is spotty as well. Dugger posted solid numbers up through the Double-A level, however, and scouting reports during his prospect days credited him with a pair of average or better breaking balls and above-average command. He’s intrigued enough that four teams have now put him on a 40-man roster over the past four seasons — Marlins, Mariners, Rays and Reds — but the righty is still searching for his first prolonged bit of success at the game’s upper levels.