Marlins to acquire Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser from Orioles

The Marlins acquired the left-hander Tanner Scott and right-handed Cole Sulser of the Orioles. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported (Twitter connections) Scott’s inclusion in the deal, while Craig Mish of the Miami Herald reported that Sulser had also been treated. Feinsand reports Orioles will receive leads Antonio Velez and Kevin Guerreroa player to be named later, and the Marlins’ pick in the Competitive Balance Round B of this summer’s amateur draft.

The bullpen was known to be a target area for Miami, and the Fish have now bolstered their backup core with a pair of experienced arms. In Sulser, the Marlins also found a new, closer candidate, as Sulser saved eight games with Baltimore last season. Although the Marlins are not expected to have a full-time game, there is a vacancy for the ninth inning, as Dylan Florio should start the season on the injured list.

Sulser is a latecomer who didn’t make his MLB debut until age 29. He is therefore still controlled throughout the 2025 season, even though he only recently celebrated his 32nd birthday. Injuries played a part in Sulser’s late start, as he underwent two Tommy John surgeries (one while in college and the other in 2015 while getting into Cleveland’s farming system). He finally surfaced in the majors with the Rays in 2019, then came to Baltimore on a waiver request at the end of the 2019 season.

After posting a 5.56 ERA in 22 2/3 innings in 2020, Sulser broke out with a 2.70 ERA in 63 1/3 innings in relief for Baltimore last season. Although his 8.9% walk rate ranked only in the 40th percentile of all pitchers (according to Statcast), Sulser’s 28.4% strikeout rate was well above average and matched the totals high strikeouts he posted during his minor league career.

Scott also didn’t have much trouble missing bats, but southpaw control issues resulted in inconsistent numbers on 156 Major League innings. Scott has an unsightly 13.6% walk rate during his MLB career, which is a big part of why he only posted a 4.73 ERA with the Orioles despite running 50. 1% on the ground and a withdrawal rate of 29.4%.

Between those numbers, Scott’s fastball in the mid-’90s, and his last three years of umpiring control (Scott is projected to earn $1.05 million this season after avoiding umpiring with the O’s), it’s easy to understand why Scott has attracted his share of commercial buzz. over the years. Additionally, Sulser’s name also surfaced in trade rumors earlier this year, as the rebuilding Orioles continue to be open for business on just about everyone on the roster.

In fact, the Marlins themselves rocked another notable bullpen trade with the O’s in August 2020, resuming Richard Bléier. Sulser and Bleier will now join Anthony Bass and Antoine Bender as Miami’s top backup candidates, with Floro joining the mix on his return to action. It’s entirely possible other names will eventually emerge as closer possibilities for manager Don Mattingly, or one of those relievers could throw well enough to firmly establish themselves as the No. 1 pick going into the ninth inning.

From Baltimore’s perspective, the CBR-B draft pick could be the biggest scorer in the trade return. Competitive Balance Rounds are two separate draft rounds that take place after the first and second rounds of the draft respectively, with 15 teams (all bottom 10 in market or revenue size) getting a bonus pick in one of the two towers. . For the 2022 draft, the Marlins were selected in CBR-B and had the first pick of that round. As it happens, Baltimore will now pick first in both rounds of competitive balance, as the O’s also have CBR-A’s first pick. Competitive Balance picks are the only draft picks allowed to be traded.

Baseball America ranked Guerrero 29th and Velez 34th on their most recent list of the Marlins’ top 40 prospects. Guerrero is a 17-year-old outfielder who was part of the 2020-21 international signing class, and he hit .260/.373/.298 in 159 PA last summer with the Dominican Summer League team. Marlins. BA’s scouting report describes him as something of a work in progress, as his “future will be based on how his body develops” given that Guerrero is already 6’3″ but only 165 pounds.

Velez is a Miami native who was not drafted from Florida State, due to the shortened nature of the 2020 draft. Baseball America credited Velez with having the best change and control of all pitchers from the Marlins’ farm system, which is no small feat considering all the high-profile young arms in Miami’s minor league ranks. In addition to this change in quality, “Velez’s ’90s fastball is amplified by a vertical break that borders on double plus.”

As the Orioles continue to strengthen their minor league ranks, today’s trademarks mark another move that depletes the MLB roster. Sulser was tentatively set to act as Baltimore’s closer, and since Scott was also in the mix for backup chances, the question is now open as to who will end up getting ninth-inning duties. Paul Fray, jorge lopezand Dillon Tate look like the next men on the depth chart, though any number of pitchers can be run based on performance, changing roles, injuries and maybe more trades.

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