Marlins Fortify Bullpen Depth In Trade With Orioles for Cole Sulser, Tanner Scott
Miami acquired Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott from Baltimore on Sunday night in an attempt to fortify a bullpen fraught with questions. The Orioles received outfielder Kevin Guerrero, lefthander Antonio Velez, a player to be named later and a Marlins 2022 competitive balance round pick.
Sulser and Scott provide the Marlins with much-needed bullpen experience as Miami is already dealing with an injury to presumed closer Dylan Floro. Sulser has experience closing games for the Orioles over the last two seasons and could step in for Floro during his injured list stint.
Guerrero was the Marlins No. 29 prospect and Velez was their No. 34 prospect.
Cole Sulser, RHP
A late bloomer, Sulser attended Dartmouth College where he led the Ivy League in strikeouts his sophomore season before tearing a ligament in his elbow and missing his junior season due to Tommy John surgery. Sulser was drafted by Cleveland in 2013 and spent five years in its system before being dealt to the Rays as part of the three-team trade that sent Yandy Diaz to the Rays, Carlos Santana to Cleveland and Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle. Sulser made his major league debut with the Rays Sept. 2, 2019 at the age of 29. He was designated for assignment Sept. 29 of that year, and claimed a few days later by Baltimore. Since being acquired, Sulser has been one of the Orioles most effective relievers, posting a 6-9 record, with 13 saves, seven holds, a 3.45 ERA and 92 strikeouts to 40 walks over 79 appearances. He gives Miami a reliever with closing experience and a viable ninth inning option in Dylan Floro’s absence.
Tanner Scott, LHP
The lefthanded reliever ranked among the Orioles Top 30 Prospects three times, and once inside the top 10, ranking sixth overall coming into 2018. He’s been up and down for his four full major league seasons, but looked to turn a corner during the shortened 2020 campaign. He crashed back down to earth in 2021, pitching to a 5.17 ERA over 54 innings of work. Scott is the classic big stuff with little command arm, as he pairs a high-powered upper-90s four-seam fastball with an upper-80s slider. He’s had little trouble missing bats during his major league career but has had equal trouble throwing strikes. At just 27 years old, Scott presents some of the loudest lefthanded stuff in baseball, and provides Miami with some much-needed firepower amongst its relief corps.
Nine Top Undrafted Free Agents From The 2020 MLB Draft
Here is an early look at some of the top performers to date who signed as nondrafted free agents in 2020.
Kevin Guerrero, OF
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in January of 2021, Guerrero debuted in the Dominican Summer League and hit for contact with advanced on-base ability. Questions around his ability to hit for impact make him a difficult prospect to project long term. He has present feel to hit, and with a tall, lean 6-foot-3 frame Guerrero has room to add the necessary strength in coming years. He ranked as the Marlins No. 29 prospect entering the spring and provides Baltimore with a young toolsy outfielder, a profile sorely lacking at the Orioles complex level.
Antonio Velez, LHP
A nondrafted free agent out of Florida State in 2020, Velez was lauded as having both the best control and the best changeup in the Marlins system coming out of 2021. Velez made 20 appearances for High-A Beliot, including 11 starts, totaling 81 innings while pitching to a 3.00 ERA, with 75 strikeouts to just nine walks. He saw a late-season promotion to Double-A Pensacola where he made three starts, allowing just one earned run across 18 innings of work. He employs a four-pitch mix highlighted by a plus, low-80s changeup that he lands in the zone at an elite rate. His fastball sits low 90s with above-average vertical break and plays up due to his command. He throws two distinct breaking balls in a sweepy mid-70s curveball and a low-80s slurvy slider. At 25 years old, Velez could fill in as an emergency starter for Baltimore as soon as this summer.