Creating a Yankees' trade package: Michael Fulmer
Last year Cashman acquired Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, David Robertson, Tommy Khanle, and Todd Frazier before the July 31st deadline, which helped drive the Bombers to game seven of the ALCS, but they gave up some of their better prospect in the process. The team has its sights set on a championship, so GM Brian Cashman will undoubtedly upgrade the starting pitching at the deadline, but who and for what?
The Yankees currently hold the MLB second-best winning percentage in the league at .667 with an offense that is on pace to shatter the Mariners single-season home run record. While the team seems almost unbeatable, there are some big chinks in the armor, specifically in the rotation. The Yankees lost Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery, and Masahiro Tanaka is still out with two damaged hamstrings. Luis Severino is a strong candidate for the CY Young award, and CC Sabathia is still fighting off father time, but Sonny Gray is still unreliable.
The tricky part on predicting who will be available for the Yankees come July is predicting which teams will throw in the towel. The shortlist of possible available pitchers are as follows:
San Francisco Giants
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
San Diego Padres
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Mets
New York Mets
In this series of articles, we will look into various trade possibilities for the Yankees before the July 31st deadline.
As much as fans would like to keep all these kids the hard truth is, no matter how talented or promising many of these prospects are, they all can't contribute and not all of them won't work out, as our writer Andrew Natalizo detailed in his article here.
Note: It is incredibly difficult to predict these trades exactly, as preferences of both teams involved are mostly unknown, so guessing prospects traded is not an exact science. What these articles provide is an entertaining exercise to get to know some possible trade targets and pieces. Enjoy!
Brian Cashman said he's had trade discussion with 20 teams for rotation help, but did not specify who. However, the Yankees did send scouts to watch Michael Fulmer pitch in Detroit, an obvious sign that the Bombers are interested in the righty. Cashman reportedly targeted Fulmer during the offseason, and his rocky 2018 season doesn’t seem to have deterred the team's pursuit of him.
The former Mets prospect is only 25 years old with a whopping four years of control left after 2018, making him a long term and short term contributor for whatever team he is on. The righty has only pitched in the majors for three years where he has started 67 games with a 24-26 record, 3.62 ERA, 0.9 HR/9, 7.0 K/9, 2.91 K/W, and a 1.163 WHIP, but hasn’t pitched as well in recent months. In 2018 his stats have dipped from his career average. In 16 starts the starter has a 4.20 ER, 1.0 HR/9, 7.6 K/9, 2.67 K/W, and a 1.251 WHIP. What’s encouraging is that most of his stats didn’t dip that much despite his higher ERA, and he's throwing more strikeouts in 2018 than ever before.
The Tigers won’t part with their 2016 AL Rookie of the Year without receiving plenty back in return. Fulmer works primarily with four pitches, a fastball and a sinker that sit at around 96 MPH, a changeup, and slider that hover in the high 80s, and a rare upper 70s curveball as well. The righty can improve on his control to reduce his walks, and many in the league are very high on the three-year veteran, but what would it take to get him to New York? To start, the Yankees would need to part with a top 100 pitcher, another highly rated position player, and one more lower level prospect.
Reports were that the Yankees offered some combination of Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade for Fulmer, but the Tigers declined. It seems like they should’ve taken the deal as Fulmer is having a bad year for his standard as so many other tradeable starters are having good to great years. Fulmer’s recent form will prohibit the Tigers from bagging a Titanic package, but they still receive plenty for their young righty.
Abreu is the 67th ranked prospect in all of baseball and has top-end of the rotation upside. Wade has been viewed very highly by the Yankees front office for a long time, and although he struggled against MLB level pitching early on in his MLB career, maybe a new start is what the young infielder needs to achieve his ceiling. Gallegos is an aggressive throwing righty who may not have overwhelming speed, but with a fastball at around 95 MPH, he can become a good setup man for the Tigers sooner rather than later.
This deal is another package that is probably on the cheaper side, and the Tigers could wait until this offseason or 2019 to part with Fulmer, or keep him for the long haul instead. Fulmer’s recent trend will likely allow Cashman to keep his prized prospects while still upgrading the rotation short term and long term.
Stay tuned for more trade possibilities, next up division rival, Rays Lefty Blake Snell!
Article by: Maxx Hotton