Reports that the Phillies are strongly pursuing free agent third base Aramis Ramirez apparently have some legs, because according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com they’re “actively trying to move” incumbent third baseman Placido Polanco.
Polanco still has $7.25 million remaining on a three-year, $18 million contract that was widely panned at the time and is coming off a career-worst season in which he missed 40 games with various injuries. He’s also 36 years old, so the Phillies would likely have to eat at least some of his salary and take back a marginal prospect to get a deal done.
From a purely on-field standpoint keeping Polanco around in a utility role would make sense even after signing Ramirez, but obviously a $7.25 million part-time player is a tough fit for even the Phillies’ massive payroll.
Michael Fulmer was the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. Last year he had his worst season as a major leaguer, finishing 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA and a 110/46 K/BB ratio in 132 1/3 innings. This spring he has been utterly lost in eight innings of work, getting hit hard and exhibiting diminished velocity. A few days ago, the Tigers shut him down and said they’d work on his mechanics.
Now comes the news that no one wanted to hear: the Tigers have announced that Dr. James Andrews has recommended that he get Tommy John surgery.
Fulmer is said to be seeking a third opinion — before Andrews he had an MRI and team doctors feared the worst — but let’s be real about what’s gonna happen here: Fulmer is going to miss the entire 2019 season and, in all likelihood, a good chunk of 2020 as well.
Tough break for Fulmer, one of the few good pitchers the Tigers had developed in some time.