MINNEAPOLIS — It's a long way from the days Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak drove an Uber to supplement his minor league salary so he could make ends meet.
Dobnak and the Twins have inked a five-year contract extension, with options that could keep him with the ballclub through 2028. The new deal is worth $9.5 million.
The 26-year-old right-hander went 6-4 with a 4.05 ERA, 13 walks and 27 strikeouts in 10 starts during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He matched starter Kenta Maeda for the most wins, and led all major league pitchers (who had pitched a minimum of 45 innings) with a 62.1 ground ball percentage.
Dobnak also posted a career-best 13.0-inning scoreless streak from July 25-August 10, the longest run by a Twins pitcher last season.
Signing the extension was the latest accomplishment in a career that has been unconventional, to say the least. Dobnak's road to the major leagues started with a Division II college program, which led to a stint in an independent baseball league with a salary so low he had to augment it by working odd jobs like driving an Uber, and working as an accounting clerk.
The Twins signed Dobnak as an undrafted free agent, and he eventually was named the organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2019. He made his major league debut in August of that year, and immediately turned in a nine-inning scoreless streak.