On Friday, the Marlins acquired veteran reliever Dylan Floro from the Dodgers in exchange for pitchers Alex Vesia and Kyle Hurt. This is probably one of the final changes to the major league bullpen as Miami’s first offseason under GM Kim Ng nears its end—one you should be excited about.
New addition to the family, Dylan. See ya in spring! pic.twitter.com/8SOWrhFBlq— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) February 12, 2021
Why? Well, Floro is an affordable pitcher that is coming off a nice three-season run in a winning environment with the Dodgers. He’s entering his sixth MLB season and has a pretty good profile: Floro’s a ground-ball specialist (57.3% of the balls put in play by his opponents were on the ground), has improved his control a lot, and is great at avoiding hard contact.
In a few words, the 30-year-old righty is everything you can ask for when it comes to a pitcher that will make $975k in 2021.
Floro’s struggles with control have been reduced in a big way. His BB/9 rate has fallen from 3.2 in 2018 to 2.7 in 2019 and, even better, to 1.5 in 2020. His BB% went down from 8.5 to 4.1, which was better than the 94 percent of league qualifiers.
Also, his average exit velocity allowed has been at a solid level over the past four campaigns:
2017: 86.5 MPH
2018: 88.0 MPH
2019: 87.7 MPH
2020: 84.6 MPH
To that exit velocity, you need to add the fact that Floro was among the best relievers in terms of Hard Hit% (26.7% in 2020) and Barrel% (2.7%). Those are the reasons why his lifetime HR/9 ratio is 0.6 after 159 2⁄3 career innings. He’s on the short list of top active pitchers in that category (so is new teammate Richard Bleier).
Floro, who already wears a World Series ring, won’t overwhelm anybody with his strikeout numbers (an acceptable 7.8 K/9 in his career) and definitely won’t miss bats like crazy. However, he’ll get the job done with other weapons.
I can see him being an important part of the 2021 bullpen and—considering he’s pitched most of his games between innings seven and nine—a good bridge from starters to pitchers such as Yimi García and Anthony Bass, who presumably could take over roles in the eighth and ninth frames.