For the first time since July 30th of 2015, Michael Fulmer is not a part of the Detroit Tigers organization. This is not a surprise for a player in the midst of a contract season playing for a team that was going nowhere. Fulmer is a good pickup for the Twins. While his recent numbers aren’t fantastic (he gave up two runs against his new team last night) he’s still a stable middle relievers with an excellent slider. Minnesota’s bullpen has coughed up a lot of games this year. Fulmer should help prevent that. I’ll definitely be rooting for him. Michael Fulmer’s 2016 campaign in which he won Rookie Of The Year and and put up a 33.1 inning scoreless streak was a thing of beauty. And while injuries derailed his career as a starter, his perseverance was pretty incredible. He was a true pro in Detroit and now he’ll finally have the opportunity to play for something in Minnesota.
As for the return…meh. I’m generally not in favor of trading in division but if the return is there, I’m willing to accept it. The Tigers received Sawyer Gipson-Long, a six foot four right hander with a mid 90’s fastball and a sweeping slider that he uses as his putaway pitch. He started the season by dominating in high A ball (1.99 ERA in 10 starts) before struggling in 8 appearances in AA (7.17 ERA). It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the Tigers ended up converting him to a reliever at some point. Despite the major league team’s consistent struggles, they have done a good job of converting multiple starters (Gregory Soto, Michael Fulmer, and Alex Lange) into solid relievers. That’s probably the best we can hope for at this point. It’s always frustrating when you see the return Al Avila gets for his trades. Even if this ends up working out, it’s hard to give this current regime the benefit of the doubt and I sympathize entirely with the frustrations of the fan base.
I don’t believe the Tigers have any idea what they’re doing right now. My guess is that in their warped view of things, they believe this current roster was simply snakebitten by injuries and the idea of blowing everything up once again was unnecessary because the 2023 team will not nearly suffer from the bad luck that this team has suffered from. Assuming that is their logic, I completely disagree with it. This team has glaring flaws that can’t be fixed with better luck. The only way out is through, and unless Chris Ilitch is willing to dish out the money for top players the way that teams like the Dodgers or Yankees do, trading assets at the deadline will continue to be the norm.