The Dodgers have been oft-linked to Manny Machado in recent weeks, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that the team is also “aggressively” pursuing Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer. Just how receptive the Tigers are to trade offers for their top starter remains unclear.
Certainly, Detroit will have to at least entertain offers on virtually any player on the roster, as the organization’s rebuild is still in its early stages. But the Tigers are in a more difficult spot with Fulmer, whose 2017 season ended due to ulnar nerve transposition surgery in his right arm. Thus far in 2018, Fulmer hasn’t been nearly as good as he was in his 2016 Rookie of the Year season or for the vast majority of the 2017 season before a series of awful starts leading up to that surgical procedure.
Through 94 1/3 innings in 2018, Fulmer is sitting on a 4.20 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9 and a 46.3 percent ground-ball rate. More troubling than his bottom-line numbers, though, is the quality of contact he’s allowed. Both Fangraphs and Statcast indicate that Fulmer’s hard-contact rate has soared by 10 percent this season. The average exit velocity of a ball put in play against Fulmer has leaped from 85.6 mph in 2017 to 88.8 mph in 2018.
There are certainly positives surrounding Fulmer’s season as well, of course. His average fastball velocity of 95.8 mph is right in line with his pre-surgery levels. His strikeout percentage (20.4), swinging-strike rate (10.3 percent) and chase rate (34.2 percent) are all either at or above his career-high levels. Fulmer looks to be in good health, and if he can sharpen his pitch location a bit, there’s reason to believe he can take some significant strides forward.
For the Tigers, though, that all boils down to the fact that Fulmer’s value simply isn’t at its peak at the moment. And given that he’s under club control for another four and a half seasons, there’s no need to rush into a trade unless the Dodgers (or any other club) bowl them over with a package from which they can’t walk away. Conversely, it’s tougher for an interested party to make that type of offer when there’s some uncertainty surrounding the pitcher’s current performance level.
Tigers fans must be sick of seeing their pitchers helping other teams win but it might be for the best. if someone is willing to overpay.
If the Dodgers are interested, I bet they see a mechanical adjustment he can make.
You mean like they did with tom koehler?
Oh I almost forgot the adjustment they made for Darvish that helped him give up like 15 runs in 4 innings
Koehler is hurt and Darvish was tipping his pitches. Try again troll
Pitches Love Velocity
They didnt correct the tipping of the pitches with Darvish, but wouldn’t that be a mechanical flaw? It is most likely that Fullmer is just adjusting after surgery. No worries.
I’m a Dodgers fan, I thought it was funny.
Exactly what the Dodgers need: another pitcher with a laundry-list of medical concerns.
It’s definitely not the same as other injury lists. Fulmer had surgery to move a nerve in his elbow. Same surgery that DeGrom had. It’s not Tommy John, TOC, Labrum, or Rotator cuff surgery.
It’s called a submuscular nerve transposition. I had the same thing done.
I agree, but what’s with the downward spiral?
There’s definitely a good dose of risk involved in such a procedure. I would think the Dodgers would be more interested in guys without all the risk, seeing the lack of health they’ve had in their rotation.
That’s what they need and probably should do!
The Dodgers will overpay for starting pitching that doesn’t help in the playoffs…Hill, Darvish,McCarthy etc…why give up almost everything your farm system has to offer for a rental and you just pull them before the 3rd time through the order??
“The Dodgers will overpay for starting pitching that doesn’t help in the playoffs” well that sure is rich coming from a Padres fan.
Rich Hill didn’t help them in the playoffs…. lol did you watch october the last 2 years. Darvish was good until the WS. They wont have to blow up the farm for Fulmer.
Why do you feel a young pitcher,like Fullmer, who has 4 1/2 years of team control remaining, won’t require the Dodgers to give up a ton? I don’t see the Tigers moving him then.
I said they wont have to blow up the farm. Their system is good enough to not do that
BREAKING NEWS: Dodgers interested in anybody and everybody
If the Dodgers are serious about upgrading the rotation in a meaningful way, they’ll pursue deGrom.
You made the big mistake of talking about a deGrom trade on here. Now all the Mets fans will tell you the Dodgers have to give up Beuhler and Verdugo along with 2 more solid prospects but even that won’t be enough in their eyes
Buehler + Verdugo plus 2 more solid prospects is actually quite fair for deGrom. And I’m not a Mets fan.
Not a Mets fan, but I think Buehler + Verdugo + Ferguson seems like a fair return for a top 5 SP. The Dodgers aren’t in a win-now mode though, the Giants and D-Backs are only going to get older, and who knows if the Rockies can even keep up the next few years without significant changes. Giants should pursue Leonys Martin and a front end starter like JA Happ, D-Backs should get Machado.
Houston paid two top-100 prospects for two years of Verlander, and the Tigers included $8M besides.
And in return Houston will get 2 World Series Rings.
Ok, so here’s a trade to make Met fans think long and hard. DeGrom and Nimmo for (drumroll) Verdugo, Seager, and Urias.
This rumor doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Dodgers have quite a lot of pitching talent in the pipeline already. Fulmer might be good again some day, but that day isn’t now, so what would be the purpose of trading for him?
It does in the sense that they really don’t. White hasn’t been what they envisioned and the flags are plenty. Santana is more so a back end pen guy. Ferguson needs more development time and without an even get me over third pitch well he’s probably ticketed for the pen. You don’t know what you’re getting from Urias, but it’s more likely without setbacks he won’t see a full time starters workload until 20. With Kersh’s back you never know. Plus add in the fact that Strip will nearly double his workload and well teams are starting to make that adjustment. With that said I don’t see it with the necessary pen help they’ll need. And Nightengale reported it so I’m pretty confident the Dodgers did their due just, but nobody will overpay for his control until he gets back to 16 form.
All of the pitchers you mention are currently being developed as starters. We know they don’t all work out in that role but it’s a bit soon to say they won’t. You also left out May, and several others who are just over the horizon. But the main point is, teams generally don’t trade midseason for players who aren’t going to help in that season, not if they are competing. Fulmer does’t look like anything the Dodgers need in 2018.
Just because they are being developed as starters doesn’t mean that’s what they’ll end up becoming or at least with the Dodgers. I think we’ve also seen this in the past with how the FO operates. They’ll hold on those they believe to be TOR guys while trading/ transitioning future pen arms. They seem to operate under the premise that SP prospects break which I can’t really dispute and if you’re going to be bet on guys bet on those with the upside. I still remember the outrage on these boards when they traded The likes of Cotton, Montas, and Holmes (some of the few). They have a good feel of guys they should hold and those they can part with. In terms of a controllable starter, I can definitely see them targeting one especially if they feel there’s an underused mixed or something they can fix or address. I don’t think it will be at the expense of the pen arms they need though. I didn’t mention May, because I’m still not sold on him and really like most talent you’ll get a better feel at AA. It’s kind of weird not being the “Prospect Hugger Guy” this go round. But you have had your upper echelon guys matriculate to parent club. You’ve had your untouchables impact prospects in Seager, Bellinger, Urias, Buehler, and now Ruiz is untouchable. But the base of this talent is now young. All in all in they are at a place where if they go after a guy that makes sense I’m all for it. I think it is also important to note that they will definitely have a roster crunch to contend with offseason in which might result in them including guys they wouldn’t necessarily have considered last year. I’m just not sure though if this is anything more than due diligence especially as it was reported by good ole Bob.
What would you think of a deal that included Verdugo and Seager for deGrom with the intention of signing Machado in the offseason? Seager is a lot to give up, but deGrom is an amazing talent.
No way the Dodgers give up Seager for anybody, not even deGrom. He’s a face of the franchise type of player. Why the Mets would even part with a top starter with two more years of team control is a question. I mean, if they don’t have a good use for deGrom over the next two years, then why the heck would they need Seager? Lastly, no roster plan that dramatic can be built around intentions. The market for Machado will be strong. The Dodgers aren’t going to paint themselves into the corner where signing a particular free agent becomes essential. That would be a lousy plan.
I don’t think the Dodgers go after Machado in the offseason. In fact beside a potential Kershaw opt out I don’t believe they live at the top of the market. Seager isn’t going anywhere for anybody. And as good as deGrom has been I don’t think he gets traded until the offseason if they were to do so. A trade for deGrom is nice to think about in theory as it would most definitely have to start with Buehler, but the Dodgers really aren’t going to trade Buehler, Verdugo, and Ruiz +. I can see the Dodgers linked to maybe Arrenado in next years class, but to me the lack of range at SS and not spectacular defense seems enough for it to be an easy pass for the Dodgers, especially if his intentions are to stay at SS.
Dodgers blew it last season when it was going all their way. Dodger and Yankees both refused to trade for JV and Houston with only seconds to spare, made the move. It seemed like everyone was going after “Club Control” when they should have really went after “Who can win in big situation and get us to the World Series?” Fulmer might be the guy that can get you both. He’s pitched in Yankee Stadium and took down the Yankees and their announcers were just in awe. He’s that good when he’s on & he just has been having one bad inning these days. The rest of his innings are shut down innings. No Buyers remorse on this guy!
Honestly one of them should have claimed Verlander and then offered Detroit nothing. Regardless of whether the Tigers let the claim go through, this blocks the Astros from trading for Verlander. There’s no way they make it past the Yankees without Verlander.
Yu darvish was a rental so club control….he had none after 2016
The dodgers have enough depth in the organization to make a deal for machado. Fulmer is the kind of pitcher the Dodgers would be interested in. Right handed, SP,under team control,under 30. Another guy i like is Nathan Eovaldi. Ex dodger, under 30, last year of a 2 year contract at 2 mil/year. He’s throwing 98mph. Maybe the Rays want more young dodgers pitching.
Eovaldi has had 2 Tommy John Surgeries. no way you give up anything meaningful for him
And he put a dent in his trade value yesterday by losing to the Marlins.
This would put a dent in the yankees plans
newsflash….the tiges don’t need to trade him. we’re just fine, thank you.
Padres get a cheap mentor for their young pitchers and they keep all of their pitchers
I typically post on how stupid a Fulmer trade would be for the Tigers but this return is very interesting. Urias is MLB ready and fills an immediate & long term need. Arias has upside and flexibility, Nix is a 3rd starter at best but the Tigers have enough starters to backfill for Fulmer in 19/20. Lastly, Rosario provides upside and flexibility.
I would even switch nix for the more upside prospect Lawson if both sides would want that
If that trade was ever offered Big Al should do that in a heartbeat. Fulmer is done.