The New York Yankees lost a weapon out of their bullpen and should look to Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers as a replacement.
Although somewhat unexpected, right-hander Michael King had been a vital piece to New York's bullpen in 2022. The 27-year-old right-hander had posted a 2.29 ERA to go with a 2.23 FIP over 51 innings of work this season. King will be sidelined for the remainder of the season due to an elbow injury.
King, who also carries a WHIP of 1.00, had struck out a whopping 66 batters, good for 11.6/nine innings pitched which is nearly three more than his previous career-high. The Rochester, New York native has yielded just 15 runs and 35 hits this season in 34 appearances. The Yankees currently maintain the best record in baseball at 65-30, a mere 12 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East Division.
Michael Fulmer is a perfect replacement for Michael King.
The Detroit Tigers need to pounce on the opportunity to move a valuable bullpen asset such as Michael Fulmer. Fulmer, 29, is enjoying another successful season working in high-leveraged situations out of the bullpen. He's preserved a 2.31 ERA with a WHIP of 1.114 this season. But the right-hander is also posting a 3.34 FIP. Although sufficient, Fulmer would undoubtedly be considered a downgrade for New York compared to what King has accomplished this season.
Fulmer is 2-4 this season, striking out 34 batters in 35 innings. The strikeout rate of 8.7 batters per nine innings is down a hair from his 9.4rate over 69.2 innings of work.
King became a multi-inning weapon for the Yankees this season. King could successfully chew up a couple of innings if he were called upon through the middle innings before handing the ball over to closer Clay Holmes.
Michael Fulmer is more of a one-trick pony at this juncture of his career, excelling while only pitching one inning per appearance.
Fulmer makes sense for the Yankees if they are looking for a veteran that is more than capable of handling the pressures of the seventh and eighth innings during tight ball games. Another benefit for New York is knowing Fulmer can be had a bit cheaper than other options as the right-hander will strictly be a rental replacement as he's set to hit the open market following this season. This is another reason why general manager Al Avila and the Detroit Tigers should look to move on from Fulmer.
Fulmer currently earns $4.95 million and is expected to command a pretty penny in free agency, and likely, one Avila will unlikely be unwilling to match.
The Tigers should be looking to add a third base prospect or outfielder. Everson Pereira, New York's tenth-ranked prospect, would be someone to at least start the conversation with. The 21-year-old is hitting .274 at Single-A with nine home runs and 43 RBIs, along with 19 stolen bases. Brandon Lockridge, 25, could serve as the cherry on top, is hitting .242 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in Double-A this season.