Twins Acquire Michael Fulmer From Tigers

The Twins announced they’ve acquired reliever Michael Fulmer from the Tigers. Pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long is headed back to Detroit.

Fulmer is one of the better rental relievers available on the summer market. The 29-year-old has worked to a 3.20 ERA across 39 1/3 innings, his second straight season with strong run prevention. Fulmer’s 23.1% strikeout rate and 11.5% swinging strike percentage are more solid than great, but he’s consistently done an excellent job keeping the ball in the yard.

Minnesota can’t count on Fulmer sustaining this season’s 2.2% HR/FB rate, but he also did well to avoid hard contact last year. He’s induced plenty of infield fly balls over the past couple seasons, and he’s held opposite-handed hitters to a woeful .190/.256/.298 line on the season. That’s no doubt appealing to a Minnesota club that only has Jovani Moran as a left-handed bullpen option with Caleb Thielbar on the injured list.

Fulmer is an impending free agent, so he’s a pure stretch run play with the Twins a game ahead of the Guardians in the AL Central. He’s not as impactful an addition as this morning’s pickup of All-Star closer Jorge López from Baltimore, but he becomes a much-needed extra boost to a relief corps that has been the club’s Achilles heel. Fulmer is making $4.95MM, around $1.8MM of which is still to be paid out.

Detroit picks up a 6’4″ right-hander in the deal. Gipson-Long was a sixth-round pick out of Mercer in 2019. He’s split the year between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita, thriving at the former destination while struggling at the latter. Overall, he owns a 4.23 ERA across 87 1/3 innings with a decent 24.2% strikeout rate and a minuscule 5.3% walk percentage.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post first reported the Twins were acquiring Fulmer. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported that Detroit would receive Gipson-Long in return.

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