Varela begins his second season with the Ducks and fourth in professional baseball. The right-hander spent the entire 2022 season with the Flock. He made 32 appearances (five starts), striking out 39 batters and walking 16 over 62.0 innings. His best stretch came in August when he allowed just one run over 15.2 innings in 10 games (one start), good for a 0.57 ERA. The 26-year-old tossed five scoreless innings to close out the month, yielding just one hit to the Lancaster Barnstormers.

The Levittown, N.Y., native previously played with the Grand Junction Rockies of the Pioneer League in 2021. In 21 games (12 starts), he struck out 67 batters and walked 35 over 69.0 innings of work. He began his professional career in the Los Angeles Angels organization during the 2019 season. Across four different levels, he went 2-2 with a 3.99 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Varela was originally signed by the Angels as an amateur free agent in 2019 after pitching four seasons at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus in Old Westbury.