The Marlins have designated right-hander Kaleb Ort for assignment, per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. This move opens a spot for the Marlins to claim Declan Cronin off waivers from the Astros, a move that was reported earlier.
Ort, 32, spent the past few seasons with the Red Sox but has been on the roster carousel of late. Since the most recent season ended, he’s been claimed off waivers by the Mariners and Marlins and has now lost his roster spot yet again. The Fish claimed him in early December and he lasted just over two months on their roster before getting bumped off.
The righty has some big velocity, averaging around 96 miles per hour on his fastball. That’s led to Ort racking up strikeouts in the minors, but also with his fair share of walks. In the majors, both of those tallies have been a bit tempered. Over the past three seasons, he’s tossed 97 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level while allowing 2.76 earned runs per nine, striking out 31.1% of batters faced while walking 10.9%. In that same stretch of time, he threw 51 2/3 innings in the majors with a 6.27 ERA, 20.9% strikeout rate and 10.2% walk rate.
Though he hasn’t quite punched out big league hitters at the same rate, the minor league numbers appear to be drawing the interest of various clubs. Ort still has one option year remaining and doesn’t need an active roster spot, which adds to the appeal. A club could keep him stashed in the minors and call him up as needed throughout the season.
Despite that appeal, the Marlins decided that Cronin was a better fit for their roster and nudged Ort off. They will now have a week to trade Ort or pass him through waivers. Based on the multiple claims this offseason, he may wind up with a new club shortly. If he were to pass through waivers unclaimed, he lacks the previous career outright or three years of MLB service necessary to elect free agency, meaning he would stick with the Marlins as non-roster depth.