Ranking Cubs free agents based on likelihood of re-signing: #5 - Michael Fulmer
After a disastrous start to the year, Michael Fulmer largely leveled off and became a go-to guy for David Ross. His importance has been on full display with him sidelined, as without him or Adbert Alzolay, the Cubs have been desperately searching for answers in the late innings down the stretch.
He really found his groove when the calendar turned to June - and from June 3 to Aug. 6, he made 25 appearances, limiting opponents to a .170 batting average and a sub-.600 OPS, working to a 1.26 ERA. Of course, we can't look past the horrendous showings in April, May or August - but there's clearly something still left in the tank.
The former Rookie of the Year hasn't been spectacular, by any means, although you can clearly see he's put together some nice stretches at times. Chicago bet on him to be a big piece of the bullpen puzzle and that looks like it was an ill-advised plan. But bringing him back on a low-cost, one-year deal as bullpen depth doesn't hurt either side here.