Let’s talk about really, really bad ideas.
Earlier this week, we reported that the Tigers might consider bundling Ian Kinsler into a trade with Justin Wilson in order to offset the cost of Kinsler’s salary. We were vocal about what a dumb move this would be.
Apparently, the dumb idea train had barely left the station yet.
The Tigers may not be as rigid about keeping Michael Fulmer on board as they once suggested, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Earlier this month, Tigers general manager Al Avila said the probability of a Fulmer trade was “probably zero.”
In the Post’s article, rival executives have implied that Fulmer might actually be considered for a trade if another team was also willing to take on a big contract.
“One executive said he received a concept from Detroit in which perhaps Fulmer would be available if the acquiring team agreed to take on a bad contract in addition, such as the one belonging to Jordan Zimmermann or Justin Upton.”
Before we get ourselves too lathered up in a fury, however, there are a few things to keep in mind here. One, the New York Post should not be considered the most reliable of sources. While they are a major daily paper, they are a tabloid, and Media Bias Fact Check lists their fact checking as “mixed” with the bottom line being they are “not a very credible source overall.”
The thing that lends it a slight amount of credence is this tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney.
As the Tigers are talking about possible deals, they are tying their own players together in talks in an effort to shed salary.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2017
The second thing to remember is that the Tigers would be out of their minds to trade Fulmer strictly to drop payroll. Getting cheaper is certainly one of the team’s goals, but so is building up new talent. Moving Fulmer would defeat the purpose of their latter intention. If the team wants to restructure, get younger and leaner, and hope to seriously contend in a few years time, Fulmer is an integral part of that equation.
Bundling him in like the prize in the center of a Kinder Egg just to get rid of some undesirably large contracts makes no sense whatsoever.
It would, in fact, be a move so profoundly silly it would make the return the team got in the J.D. Martinez trade look like Al Avila’s magnum opus. If we’re being honest, a move like this wouldn’t even be Avila’s fault, as the initiative to aggressively shed payroll would more likely come from ownership.
The bottom line is, if the Tigers hope to contend, they can’t trade Fulmer. And if they do trade Fulmer, it might be time for the team to start questioning what their actual long-term goals are, because winning certainly won’t be one of them.