There it is. The Orioles have made their first trade here in 2022, just before the end of spring training.
As rumored in recent years, Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser both were arms that the Orioles seemed poised to ship off. Finally, a worthwhile deal came along to make that happen, as first reported by MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
With Sulser at age 32 and Scott at age 27, neither were locks to be a part of the future. However, these are still two arms that pitched well for the Orioles over the last two seasons.
Scott was known as a flamethrower who had a vicious slider. There were stretches of time where Scott was completely unhittable, and there were times he couldn’t sniff the strike zone.
Overall, Scott leaves Baltimore after five seasons with a 4.73 ERA and an ERA+ of 96. He accumulated 208 strikeouts in 156 innings pitched.
Sulser was the victim of a love/hate relationship that fans had with him. In the shortened 2020 season, Sulser struggled in 22.2 innings, finishing with a plus five earned run average.
Then in 2021, Susler was a different pitcher. He was the best in that Oriole bullpen, finishing with a 2.70 ERA in 63.1 innings. His ERA+ was at 168, and his FIP (fielding independent pitching) was at 2.98, both very good numbers.
In return, the Orioles will receive 17-year-old outfielder Kevin Guerrero, 25-year-old left-handed pitcher Antonio Velez, a PTBNL and the Marlins’ pick in the competitive balance round of the amateur draft this summer, pick No. 67.
There’s not much on Guerrero, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic. He played in 40 games in the Dominican Summer League, stealing 13 bases and recording a .260 batting average. He is six-foot-three inches already at age 17.
Next is Velez, who’s an alumni of Florida State University. Last season in High-A, Velez went 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a .877 WHIP. He also struck out 75 batters in just 81 innings.
Velez is a promising arm who will jump right to Double-A, after having a few appearances there last season.
This trade further loads up what is already the best farm system in baseball. Velez was ranked as Miami’s No. 34 prospect according to Baseball America, while Guerrero was their No. 29 prospect.
Meanwhile for Scott and Sulser, they will join a Miami bullpen that includes former O’s Richard Bleier and Zach Pop.
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