© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Michael Fulmer Loses To Tigers In Arbitration, Contract Finalized

It could be quite the bargain for the Tigers.

February 15, 2019 - 1:03 pm

The Tigers' first arbitration hearing in 17 years ended in favor of the team. 

Michael Fulmer was awarded $2.8 million for 2019 instead of the $3.4 million he requested, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. The ruling came down on Friday. 

That's down from the $3.1 million Fulmer earned in 2018 -- and maybe to not much of a surprise. Fulmer went 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP while dealing with various injuries last season. He was shut down in September to undergo knee surgery. 

Fulmer, who turns 26 next month, is hoping to recover the form this season that saw him win AL Rookie of the Year in 2016 and earn an All-Star nod in 2017. He went 21-19 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over his first two big-league seasons. 

But Fulmer's body hasn't held up the past couple years. He dealt with an elbow issue for much of the 2017 season that ultimately required surgery, lost time to an oblique injury last season and then suffered a knee injury that required surgery for the third time in his career.

He's been sporting a brace in spring training this year to help stabilize that knee. 

For all his health issues, though, Fulmer's arm appears to be in good shape. He threw as hard as ever last season, and in most starts his stuff looked good. 

If he can get back on track this year, that $2.8 million salary will be a bargain for the Tigers.