Chicago Cubs Sign High-Leverage Free Agent Reliever

One of the last remaining high-end relievers on the free agent market has been scooped up, as the Chicago Cubs have signed 29-year-old right-hander Michael Fulmer.

Fulmer began his major league career as a promising starter with the Detroit Tigers, winning Rookie of the Year in 2016 after going 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He followed that up with an All-Star appearance in 2017 and kept his ERA under 4. But Tommy John surgery dramatically changed his career trajectory. 

Fulmer sat out the entire 2019 season, and after a failed comeback season as a starter, he converted to the bullpen, where he found unqualified success. 

As a reliever, he's posted a 2.98 ERA over the last two seasons. He had a 2.97 ERA and 14 saves in 2021 in Detroit, then split 2022 between the Tigers and the Minnesota Twins, where he continued to enjoy success out of the bullpen, with a combined 3.39 ERA. 

Fulmer will slot right into a high-leverage role at the back end of games for the Cubs. 

Photo: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports