Tigers, Michael Fulmer agree to 1-year, $3.1M deal, avoiding arbitration
Detroit — Michael Fulmer will avoid arbitration this time, thank you.
The veteran right-hander was the first player to take the Tigers to arbitration since 2001 before the 2019 season and he lost his case. This time, he and the Tigers avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.1 million.
Fulmer, who made 10, three-inning starts last season after coming back from Tommy John surgery, was one of nine arbitration-eligible players the Tigers need to sign before Friday — which is the deadline for teams and players to submit salary figures to the league for arbitration.
The others are pitchers Matthew Boyd ($5.5 million estimated lowest arbitration value by MLB Trade Deadline), Jose Cisnero ($900,000), Buck Farmer ($1.4 million), Joe Jimenez ($1 million) and Daniel Norris ($3 million), plus infielders Jeimer Candelario ($1.7 million) and Niko Goodrum ($1.6 million) and outfielder JaCoby Jones ($2.2 million).
Fulmer, the American League Rookie of the Year in 2016 and an All-Star in 2017, had his 2018 season ended early with a knee injury that required surgery and then he blew out his elbow in the spring of 2019.
His stat-line was rough last year — 8.78 ERA in 27⅔ innings — but that of secondary importance to both Fulmer and the Tigers. That he was able to make 10 consecutive starts, that he was able to get his four-seam and two-seam fastballs back up to 93-94 mph and knock off the rust should serve him well heading into 2021.
Around the horn
Earlier in the day, Tigers’ vice president of player development David Littlefield gave medical updates on three of the Tigers’ top prospects.
►Littlefield said that right-handed pitcher Alex Faedo, the club’s first-round pick in 2017, had Tommy John surgery last month. Littlefield said Faedo would soon begin his 14-16 month recovery in Lakeland.
►Littlefield also caught up with lefty Joey Wentz, who had his Tommy John surgery in March and was also rehabbing in Lakeland. “He said he was feeling really good about where he’s at with his health and with the progress he’s made,” Littlefield said.
►Outfielder Daz Cameron, who had to leave his winter league team in the Dominican because of right arm soreness, is expected to be ready to compete in spring training next month.
►The Tigers are expected to be among the teams in attendance in Florida Wednesday for the showcase and workout of former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. Kluber has been limited to just seven starts the last two years (one last year) because of a shoulder injury. The Rangers declined an $18 million option, making Kluber a free agent.
►Outfielder Troy Stokes, Jr., whom the Tigers designated for assignment to make roster space for free-agent signee Robbie Grossman, was claimed off waivers by the Pirates.