Marlins To Acquire Tanner Scott, Cole Sulser From Orioles

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The Marlins have acquired left-hander Tanner Scott and right-hander Cole Sulser from the Orioles.  MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported (Twitter links) Scott’s inclusion in the deal, while The Miami Herald’s Craig Mish reported that Sulser had also been dealt.  Feinsand reports that the Orioles will receive prospects Antonio Velez and Kevin Guerrero, a player to be named later, and the Marlins’ pick in 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 relief core with a pair of experienced arms.  In Sulser, the Marlins have also found a new closer candidate, as Sulser saved eight games with Baltimore last season.  While the Marlins aren’t expected to have a full-time closer, there is a vacancy for the ninth inning, as Dylan Floro is expected to start the season on the injured list.

Sulser is a late bloomer who didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 29, so he is still controlled through the 2025 season even though he only recently celebrated his 32nd birthday.  Injuries played a factor in Sulser’s late start, as he underwent two Tommy John surgeries (one in college, and the other in 2015 when he was pitching in Cleveland’s farm system).  He finally surfaced in the majors with the Rays in 2019, and then came to Baltimore on a waiver claim at the end of the 2019 season.

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

Scott also hasn’t had much trouble missing bats, but the southpaw’s control issues have resulted in some inconsistent numbers over 156 Major League innings.  Scott has an ungainly 13.6% walk rate during his MLB career, which is a big reason why he has posted only a 4.73 ERA with the Orioles despite a 50.1% grounder rate and a 29.4% strikeout rate.

Between those numbers, Scott’s mid-90s fastball, and his three remaining years of arbitration control (Scott is set to earn $1.05MM this season after avoiding arbitration with the O’s), it is easy to see why Scott has drawn his share of trade buzz over the years.  As well, Sulser’s name also surfaced in trade rumors earlier this year, as the rebuilding Orioles continue to be open for business on pretty much everyone on the roster.

More to come…

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