Michael Fulmer
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Michael Fulmer may not pitch again in 2018

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Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer isn’t a lock to return to the rotation this year after sustaining a knee injury during Saturday’s game against the Indians. While Cleveland advanced toward the postseason with a 15-0 win and another division title, Detroit lost their starter after just five pitches.

According to catcher James McCann‘s postgame comments, Fulmer dropped a few miles off his pitches at the start of the game, which made him a sitting duck for Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley as they cracked back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Even more alarming, Fulmer’s velocity issues also revealed some problems with his knee, and he was quickly pulled from the game and later diagnosed with a case of right knee inflammation.

At this point, it’s still unclear how much time the right-hander might miss, and the Tigers will reserve a final judgment until they receive the results of his MRI on Monday. Given that Fulmer has just two scheduled starts remaining over the final two weeks of the regular season, a return to the mound seems somewhat unlikely. Following Saturday’s performance, the 25-year-old hurler has pitched to a disappointing 3-12 record in 24 starts with a 4.69 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 132 1/3 frames this year.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.