Detroit Tigers trade reliever Michael Fulmer to Minnesota Twins for pitching prospect

Detroit Free Press

MINNEAPOLIS — The Detroit Tigers traded right-handed reliever Michael Fulmer to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, ahead of the 6 p.m. trade deadline, the team announced.

The 29-year-old is on an expiring contract, meaning he will become a free agent after the 2022 season. Fulmer, the longest-tenured Tiger besides Miguel Cabrera, has posted a 3.20 ERA, 20 walks and 39 strikeouts over 39⅓ innings in 41 games in 2022.

In return, the Tigers received right-handed pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long. The 24-year-old was a sixth-round pick in 2019 by the Twins. Between High-A and Double-A this season, Gipson-Long is 8-6 with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.122 WHIP over 18 games (17 starts). He is not listed among the Twins’ top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.

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Fulmer, a six-year MLB veteran, transitioned from a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher in 2021 spring training, and over the past two seasons, he has a 3.05 ERA and 16 saves with 3.3 walks per nine innings and 9.3 strikeouts per nine.

His walk rate has gotten worse, from 6.7% in 2021 to 12.2% in 2022.

“Whatever they have on the business side of things, I’ve got no hard feelings whatsoever,” Fulmer said in late July. “I know this game is a business, and whatever this front office and organization sees fit as being the best move forward, I’m on board.”

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Fulmer won American League Rookie of the Year in 2016 and made his first and only All-Star Game in 2017. The Tigers acquired Fulmer (and Luis Cessa) from the New York Mets at the 2015 trade deadline in exchange outfielder Yoenis Céspedes.

In April 2016, Fulmer made his MLB debut.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman was first to report the deal.

This story will be updated.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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