The Yankees continue to roll, but it remains clear that a rotation upgrade could be the difference between dominating the regular season and passing the Houston Astros to win the American League pennant. Two of the their most appealing options, Texas' Cole Hamels and Detroit's Michael Fulmer, bring very different pros and cons. Here's a look:
At 25 years old and with five years of team control remaining, Fulmer will likely be a prize at this year's trade deadline. That means that the Tigers can demand a high price, and play suitors against one another. Even teams like the Braves and Phillies, who might not be quite ready to win, could see value in bidding for Fulmer.
Because of that, the Yankees need to be prepared to pay a steep price in talent. Why would the Tigers agree to a deal that didn't begin with Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar? And why would the Yankees trade a potential All-Star infielder for the higher risk of a pitcher, even one as good as Fulmer? The questions suggest that a fit will be tough.
Still, it is appealing to add a high-end pitcher to help in 2018 and beyond, as other veterans in the rotation move on.
This season, Fulmer is 1-3, with a 4.35 ERA.
The market for Hamels (who pitches on Tuesday night against the Yankees) will likely be far less robust.