Roster Moves: Cubs sign former All-Star reliever, place reliever on 60-day IL
|Monday, February 20, 2023, 1:08 PM-|
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer on a one-year major league contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Codi Heuer has been placed on the 60-day injured list while continuing to recover from Tommy John surgery.
Fulmer, 29, owns a career 34-45 record with a 3.89 ERA (267 ER/617.0 IP), two complete games, one shutout and 17 saves in 204 major league games (89 starts) across six seasons with Detroit (2016-18, 2020-22) and Minnesota (2022). In 2016, he became the fifth player in Tigers history to be named the American League Rookie of the Year and earned 2017 A.L. All-Star honors. Fulmer began his major league career as a starting pitcher before transitioning to the bullpen in 2021.
The six-foot three-inch Fulmer split the 2022 campaign between Detroit and Minnesota, appearing in 67 games, tied for 11th-most in the American League. The right-handed pitcher went 5-6 with a 3.39 ERA (24 ER/63.2 IP), 25 holds, three saves, 61 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP. He did not allow a run in 10-straight appearances to start the season (10.1 IP) and posted a 1.89 ERA (7 ER/33.1 IP) in his first 34 outings through July 12. Fulmer began the campaign with the Tigers and was traded to the Twins August 2 for left-handed pitcher Sawyer Gipson-Long.
Fulmer made his major league debut with Detroit in 2016, going 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA (54 ER/159.0 IP) in 26 starts, en route to being named the American League Rookie of the Year, while also finishing 10th in the A.L. Cy Young voting. He began the year with Triple-A Toledo but was recalled to make his major league debut April 29 at Minnesota, earning the win (2 ER/5.0 IP). From May 21-June 17, Fulmer tossed 33.1-straight scoreless innings, the longest stretch in Tigers franchise history and the second-longest by a rookie in the major leagues since 1971, trailing only Fernando Valenzuela (35.0 IP in 1981).
In 2017, Fulmer went 10-12 with a 3.83 ERA (70 ER/164.2 IP) in 25 starts, including 9-6 with a 3.19 ERA (41 ER/115.2 IP) in 17 starts prior to the All-Star break. He began the season by tossing 10-straight quality starts from April 7-May 27 and was named the Tigers Pitcher of the Month in May (3-2, 2.19) and June (2-3, 4.28). The righthander was selected to the American League All-Star team but did not pitch in the contest.
Fulmer missed the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery but returned to make 10 starts during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. During the 2021 season, he moved to the bullpen with 52 appearances, all but four as a reliever. Fulmer earned his first major league save May 5, 2021, at Boston and Elias noted that he became the first Tigers pitcher to make a start one day and earn a save the next day.
Fulmer was selected in the first round (44th overall) of the 2011 First- Year Player Draft by the New York Mets and was traded to the Tigers with right-handed pitcher Luis Cessa for outfielder Yoenis Céspedes, July 31, 2015. A resident of Guthrie, Okla., Fulmer graduated from Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Okla.
Heuer, 26, is 10-4 with a 3.56 ERA (36 ER/91.0 IP) and three saves in 86 career major league relief appearances with the White Sox (2020-21) and Cubs (2021). The Missoula, Mont., native was acquired by the Cubs from the White Sox, July 30, 2021, with infielder Nick Madrigal for right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel. Heuer underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2022.
The #Cubs today agreed to terms with RHP Michael Fulmer on a one-year major league contract.— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 20, 2023
Welcome to Chicago, @MFulmer12! pic.twitter.com/BcL6ZGA2n4
It’s official. The Cubs announce that righty Michael Fulmer — who has been in camp all week and even threw a bullpen seasion in uniform — has been signed to a 1-year deal. Codi Heuer (coming back from TJ) placed on 60-day IL. pic.twitter.com/tBExRxMucR— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 20, 2023