David Lennon of Newsday has a report which could prove pretty significant: a change to the NPB-to-Major Leagues posting system in which U.S. teams bid on the right to negotiate with Japanese players coming to the United States.
As of now, the teams interested in negotiating submit sealed bids, one is selected and the player has to negotiate with them or else not come to the U.S. at all until he is posted in a subsequent year. Lennon reports, however, that the process could be changed to where the top three bids are selected and the player can choose which of the three teams to engage.
It’s not free agency, exactly, but it does give the player a bit more choice. And though it may cost the Japanese team which gets the posting fee a bit of money if the player chooses, say, the third highest bidder, it may make the player more likely to strike a deal and thus improve the odds that the Japanese team gets a posting fee at all.
Right-hander Michael Fulmer is going on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, the Tigers announced Friday. In a corresponding move, right-hander Victor Alcantara was recalled from Triple-A Toledo.
Fulmer, 25, apparently suffered the injury during a routine bullpen session on Friday. A formal timeline for his recovery has not been announced yet. The righty is 3-9 in 19 starts this year with a 4.50 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 112 innings pitched. This is his first real setback of 2018 and figures to delay any potential trade discussions the Tigers might have been entertaining for Fulmer’s services.
Alcantara, meanwhile, will fill the open roster spot while Fulmer works his way back to the rotation. The 25-year-old righty is expected to help boost a bullpen that currently ranks fourth-worst in the American League with a collective 4.45 ERA and 1.0 fWAR. While Alcantara hasn’t done much at the major-league level so far — he tossed a scoreless three innings in relief during his last call-up — he maintained an impressive 2.81 ERA, 1.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through 51 1/3 innings in Triple-A this year.