Sources: Tigers win arb case with Fulmer

Panel sides with club's $2.8M offer; pitcher had filed for $3.4M

February 15th, 2019

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers' first salary-arbitration hearing in 18 years ended with the same result as their last one. An arbitration panel sided with the club in its hearing with right-handed starter , sources told

Fulmer will be paid $2.8 million, in accordance with the club's proposal. Fulmer had filed for $3.4 million.

Fulmer was the first Tiger to go to an arbitration hearing since Chris Holt in 2001, breaking a nearly two-decade stretch in which the team had been able to reach agreements with players before potential hearings. That stretch began under former team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski and continued under his longtime assistant GM and successor, Al Avila.

Fulmer's hearing took place Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla., before an arbitration panel. Fulmer attended the hearing, he said Thursday, but he did not speak at it.

"I didn't say a single word," Fulmer said. "Just sit there and act cool, I guess."

Fulmer said at the time that he couldn't talk about the process until after a ruling. Fulmer was at Tigertown on Friday, but he wasn't available for comment.

Fulmer earned American League Rookie of the Year honors in 2016, posting an 11-7 record and 3.06 ERA in 26 starts following his callup at the end of April. He went 10-12 with a 3.83 ERA over 25 starts in '17, then posted a 3-12 record and 4.69 ERA in 24 starts last year before undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Fulmer was eligible for arbitration as a Super Two player. Though players normally need three years of Major League service to qualify for arbitration, the top 22 percent of players between two and three years are also included. Fulmer fell in that group with two years and 157 days of service time.

Don't expect any lingering animosity between the two sides despite the ruling. Fulmer emphasized throughout the process that it wasn't personal, and explained his reasons for going to a hearing to determine his value. Fulmer could potentially have three more seasons of arbitration before he's eligible for free agency.

"Comps are the biggest thing in arbitration, so if a guy signed two years ago for under what he should have, it's going to affect the guys two or three years in the future," Fulmer said. "That's kind of my thing is trying to get fair value."