12 relievers the Mets should target ahead of the trade deadline

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5) NY Mets trade target Michael Fulmer

Hello Michael, our old friend.

Fulmer has been excellent for the Tigers this season. He has made 24 appearances and pitched 24 innings including a save. He’s allowed 12 hits, six earned runs, 11 walks, and struck out 25 batters. His ERA is 2.25, his FIP is 3.10, his WHIP is 0.96, and his ERA+ is 171.

The former starter still throws five pitches, but he loves his slider, throwing it nearly 60% of the time. It is an insanely good pitch, with a run value of -7. Hitters are barely touching it, with a batting average of .083 and slugging percentage of .125 against it. Hitters are swinging and missing at it more than 36.5% of the time.

He is really good at limiting contact. He is in the 98th percentile in xBA, xSLG, xwOBA, and xERA, 97th percentile in barrel rate, and 89th percentile in whiff rate and hard hit rate. He does walk some guys (16th percentile, 4.1 BB/9), but that’s really the only way opposing teams reach base against him. He’s giving up less hard contact than ever before, at just 23.7%.

Fulmer is a free agent this offseason, so he’s a rental. At 29 years old, he’s reaching the end of his prime, but he could still have some good years left. If the Mets wanted to acquire him now and attempt to extend him, that could be doable. The rebuilding Tigers don’t need him, so he should be on the move before too long.