The July 30th MLB trade deadline is looming and we are only ten days away at this point. It’s been no secret that the Atlanta Braves are lacking sufficient talent in the bullpen and it comes as no surprise that the Braves would reportedly express an interest in Detroit Tigers pitcher, Michael Fulmer. But this isn’t the first time Atlanta has been interested in this pitcher. In fact, the Braves have supposedly been interested in Fulmer since the trade deadline of last year. Last year, Fulmer looked like a better deal.
Michael Fulmer was optioned to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens (now that is a name) in early 2016 by the Tigers. He later made his major league debut in late April of that same year. He had an incredible first season with a 3.06 ERA and even broke the record for the number of scoreless innings by a Detroit Tiger. Fulmer even finished off his first MLB season with a well-deserved rookie-of-the-year award.
Fulmer had an impressive 2016 season and even managed to keep that same momentum going throughout the 2017 season as well, ending the season with a 3.83 ERA. However, his impressive previous-season track record hasn’t translated this year. Fulmer seems to be struggling and has a current 4.50 ERA. Though Fulmer has been great in previous years, one can’t help but wonder if bringing in a pitcher with an ERA like that is really worth it for the Atlanta team. Especially because Fulmer was just placed on a 10 day DL due to a strained oblique.
To acquire Fulmer, it seems likely that Atlanta will have to trade at least one of their high-caliber players to Detroit. Previous success (in 2016-2017) has made Fulmer a sort-of hot commodity. However, trading away one of the best players on the team for a pitcher who has been nothing but inconsistent throughout the season, doesn’t seem like a smart idea. Especially with the way the season has been going so far.
It is extremely likely that Atlanta will still be looking to trade someone for a pitcher as this has been the talk since the start of the season. But it seems unlikely that the Braves trade for someone who has been just as inconsistent as their other bullpen pitchers have been. As he currently stands, it doesn’t seem like the addition of Michael Fulmer will do much for the Atlanta team.
But then again, if the price is right, and Fulmer pulls it together…