Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has a unique contract: every January 1st that he is employed, an option for the following season vests and an option for two seasons in the future is added. So, since he was employed yesterday, his 2015 option kicks in and a 2016 option is now dangling out there, pending his employment on January 1, 2015.
The purpose is to avoid Gibbons ever becoming a lame duck manager, which has become an increasingly thorny issue in Major League Baseball. Most notably when Jim Riggleman quit mid-season a couple of years ago simply because the Nationals wouldn’t ink him through the following season and beyond.
I’m not sure if anyone else does this. I do know, however, that the days of Walter Alston and the Dodgers sitting down every winter to hammer out a one-year deal for the upcoming season is a think of the past.
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.