Bullpen upgrades: Marlins acquire two relievers from O’s
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
These are the types of trades that make perfect sense for the Miami Marlins.
On Sunday night, they made a shrewd deal that netted them two proven big league relievers.
Miami acquired right-hander Cole Sulser and lefty Tanner Scott from the Baltimore Orioles for a Competitive Balance Round B pick in 2022, reliever Antonio Velez and outfielder Kevin Guerrero, plus a player to be named later.
Bullpen has been the Marlins’ most pressing need, especially with closer Dylan Floro headed to the injured list for the start of the season. Floro isn’t expected to miss significant time.
The 32-year-old had a 2.70 ERA last year, and he saved eight of 11 chances. The right-hander appeared in 60 games, logged 63 1/3 innings, while striking out 73. His salary this year is to be determined, and he’s arbitration eligible in ’23.
Scott, 27, has a 4.73 ERA in 170 big league appearances.
Scott is signed for $1.05 million this season.
Now, does this trade put the Marlins over the top to clinch a playoff berth? Not necessarily. But it improves a weakness without depleting much of their farm system. Both relievers are arbitration eligible again next year, giving the organization multiple years of control.
Realistically, the Marlins are getting closer to being a .500 caliber club.
The Marlin already have had a busy offseason, signing free agents Jorge Soler and Avisail Garcia, and signing their ace, Sandy Alcantara, to an extension. They’ve also made two impactful trades, getting catcher Jacob Stallings from the Pittsburgh Pirates and infielder Joey Wendle from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Sulser stabilizes the back of the bullpen, and he has closing experience. Scott still has upside, with a four-seam fastball that averages 96.1 mph.
Why this makes so much sense for the Marlins’ is simple: They’ve upgraded their bullpen without parting with top prospects. They’re continuing to monitor other trade possibilities, for a true center fielder, but won’t force the issue. If something makes sense, they remain open.
Expect Soler in left field, Jesus Sanchez in center and Garcia in right on Opening Day on Friday at San Francisco.
Sulser’s fastball averages just over 93 mph, and he had a 41.3 percent ground-ball rate. He’ s mainly a fastball/catchup pitcher, while throwing an occasional slider.
Sulser is a closing option, along with Anthony Bender and Anthony Bass.