Yankees Rumors: Michael Fulmer and Patrick Corbin

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Michael Fulmer
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Starting pitcher Michael Fulmer /

Without a doubt, the Yankees have been the most active team thus far at the Winter Meetings. Word has it that general manager Brian Cashman has set his sights on a pair of young shooters, namely Michael Fulmer and Patrick Corbin.

Will the Yankees pull off a third trade as they embark on Day 3 of the MLB Winter Meetings? It’s looking that way, as general manager Brian Cashman has set his sights on a number of young, cost-controlled starters. 

With CC Sabathia reportedly having already spoken to the Angels about a two-year, $12-15 million per year contract, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Yanks have begun to look at right-hander Michael Fulmer of the Tigers and lefty Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks.

Of the two, Fulmer, the 24-year-old 2016 AL Rookie of the Year, would likely cost substantially more via trade.

In 25 starts last season, Joba Chamberlain’s doppelgänger went 10-12 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.154 WHIP. Though he did earn his first All-Star Game appearance, Fulmer’s 6.2 K/9 (down from 7.5 in ’17) and 8.2 H/9 (up from 7.7 in ’17) were headed in different directions.

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While much of this had to do with pitching for the second-worst team in baseball, (64-98), Fulmer did recently undergo surgery to repair a nerve issue in his right elbow.

However, the Tigers expect Fulmer ready roll for spring training. Since he isn’t arbitration eligible until 2019, and won’t hit free agency until 2023, a potential trade package centered around outfielder Clint Frazier and right-handed shooter Jonathan Loaisiga, may be worth considering.

Corbin, 28, is a bit of a different story. Set to enter his final year of arbitration before free agency, Corbin will need to fully live up to his potential if he wishes to make more than the $8.3 million he’s expected to earn in ’18.

One year after going 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA — where he was named to his first All-Star team, Corbin missed the entire 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery.  

After only 85 innings pitched in 2015, Corbin was dreadful in 2016, going 5-13 with a 5.15 ERA, 1.56 WHIP and 10.2 H/9.

Luckily, Corbin seemed to get mostly back on track last season, going 14-13 with a 4.03 ERA — yet his 1.419 and 9.9 H/9 still leave room for improvement.

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Should the Yankees miss out on re-signing CC Sabathia and feel filling his slot with a fellow lefty is the way to go, then acquiring Corbin for prospects, not in their top 5 or named Frazier is a safe bet — should he rediscover his old form.