The worst possible July scenario for the Tigers has happened.
Any value they had to offer for quality prospects is now reduced to whatever they can get for Nick Castellanos and Shane Greene. Nick’s defense will limit his value and Shane Greene’s stock has gone down too. But all hell broke lose when Michael Fulmer went down.
His oblique strain now makes him untradeable. And isn’t that just perfect? He represented the Tigers’ best shot at getting real value in return. But now, that’s all done. For how long? That remains to be seen.
This new development only reinforces my position on the ‘Trade Fulmer’ side of the equation. He may win games next season, but they will be empty stats for a losing ballclub.
But right now, Fulmer’s next season is up in the air. He will recover, but will remain a ticking time bomb. You have to wonder about him even more. Another reason to wonder about his long-term viability if he stays a Tiger. Another reason to wonder about his future value if you are a prospective trade partner.
If trade partners for Michael Fulmer have had reservations about him up until now, this certainly impacts how they feel about him in the off-season even after his oblique has healed.
Expect them to take a step back and take a ‘wait and see’ approach until this time next season. But also expect teams to lowball the Tigers, just to see what they are willing to take.
Gauging the market in the future will continue on the Tigers’ end. He stays in Detroit for now, with more to prove to both sides. Can he stay healthy and have success on a more consistent basis when he returns to action?
For now, expect the team to shift gears and be more protective of Fulmer than ever. The controllable years in his contract just became more valuable to them; more than just a marketable part of a talented trade piece. They can invest more time in him without an eye on the clock.
But, the injury forces the timeline to 2019. As we all know, this is still a pitcher who looks like he is an injury waiting to happen every time he throws the baseball.
He has a well-known violent delivery that appears to stress his body and his arm. I don’t question his talent. I don’t question his great arm. He is a power pitcher, but he does not possess the traits of someone who will have a long career. Sorry, he just doesn’t.
So where does the fan base stand now on Michael Fulmer? Are there readers out there who are starting to move over to my side of the ledger? Or are there readers who stand firm in their support for him and feel these injuries don’t cause concern.
Who still believes he is the future ace of the Tigers? Who feels the team is set at that most important of positions as we continue with this rebuild?
Michael Fulmer came to Detroit with high hopes. And heading into a rebuild, he was more valuable for someone else than he is in Detroit. He was. But the window to shop their most prized possession has now been slammed shut.
Any trade is on hold and the rebuild just took a severe hit.
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