Michael Fulmer Contract: Chicago Cubs find great value
It was reported last week that the Chicago Cubs had signed veteran relief pitcher Michael Fulmer in an attempt to bolster their bullpen and we now know the contract details.
The Cubs have yet to officially announce the Fulmer signing but when they do, there will be a need for a corresponding move as the team's 40-man roster is currently at capacity. At $4MM, the deal leaves the Cubs with approximately $8MM remaining before they hit the luxury tax threshold.
Prior to the Cubs' signing of Fulmer, the belief was that the team was targeting a veteran left-handed reliever. As things currently stand for the Cubs and their bullpen, Brandon Hughes appears to be the only left-handed reliever. Veteran left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin signed a one-year deal worth $5.5MM over the weekend with the Arizona Diamondbacks and based on that deal alone, it would appear that the Cubs have room to add another reliever before reaching the luxury tax threshold. Matt Moore remains on the free-agent market and chances are he can he had at a reasonable deal despite the sub-2 ERA he posted with the Texas Rangers last season.
Fulmer's exact within the Cubs' bullpen is not clear at this moment. The expectation is that veteran reliever Brad Boxberger will serve as the team's primary right-handed setup man but the team is in need of identifying a closer. While speculation has suggested that Adbert Alzolay or Keegan Thompson could fill that role with the Cubs, Fulmer may get the first look. Fulmer as the team's closer would allow Thompson and Alzolay to serve as "bullpen aces" where they are able to pitch multiple innings in a single appearance. Codi Heuer, who is expected to be ready around June after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season, is also believed to be a potential closer for the Cubs this season.