DETROIT — The MLB trade deadline has come and gone but that doesn’t mean the trade rumors are completely dead.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports released a video on Saturday night that states the Atlanta Braves were extremely interested in Tigers young pitching star Michael Fulmer before the trade deadline, and that they could again take a run at Fulmer in the offseason.
“The Braves were interested in Sonny Gray before the non-waiver deadline but they were even more interested in Michael Fulmer,” Rosenthal said during the video. “Their thinking was ‘if we are going to trade big prospects why trade them for Gray, a pitcher with less control than Fulmer and greater injury risk.'”
Saying a team is interested in Fulmer isn’t really newsworthy as many teams would love to add Fulmer to their clubs. However, the Braves have the highest rated farm system according to both Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law, and may have the big name prospects needed to pique the Tigers’ interest.
Whether the Tigers are interested in moving Fulmer, who is currently on the disabled list, is still yet to be seen. Tigers general manager Al Avila said before the deadline that Fulmer was basically off limits and it was extremely unlikely he’d be moved.
“It’s kind of muddied the waters because there’s speculation that we have him out there, and we don’t,” Avila said during a MLB Network interview in July. “You can’t stop teams from calling you and inquiring, and we’re not gonna be so naïve where we’re just gonna say, ‘No, we’re not even gonna listen.’ I learned many, many years ago that if you can get two Michael Fulmers for one, that’s a pretty good trade.
“But in saying that, the probability of that happening is probably zero. It’s all speculation at this point. You can never say never, but it’s not probable at this point.”
So the Tigers weren’t ready to let Fulmer go before the trade deadline, but what about this offseason? That’s still up in the air.
“The big question remains will the Tigers even trade him,” Rosenthal said of Fulmer, who is 10-9 with a 3.59 ERA this season. “They’ll address that (and) revisit it this offseason.”
If there’s a team that can change Avila’s mind it might just be the Braves.