The Tigers trading Fulmer would be a clear sign that the team is not planning on contending for the next three seasons. If that is the case, the Tigers should look to add some of New York’s younger minor league talent.
Young prospects carry substantial risk. They are more volatile and have a greater chance of fizzling out at the big league level.
However, the Tigers could find a combination of young high-profile prospects and big league ready contributors in the Yankees system.
One name that the Tigers should be targeting is Estevan Florial. Just barely 20 years old, Florial thrived across two levels of the minor leagues last season.
In 344 at-bats at Single-A, Florial slashed .297/.373/.486 with 11 home runs, 17 RBI, a 10.5% walk rate and a 146 wRC+. That production earned him a call up to High-A, where he continued to rake.
He posted a .303/.368/.461 line with a 10.3% walk rate and a 141 wRC+ in 76 at-bats.
His strikeout rate, while concerning, dipped from 31.9% at Single-A to 27.6% at High-A. Sample size aside, it is encouraging to see a 19-year-old lower his strikeout rate while he climbs through the minor leagues.
Florial has the tools to be a 20 home run, 20 steal threat in the major leagues if he reaches his full potential. He also plays center field, and scouts believe he has the ability to stick there in the majors.
Obviously, Florial is further away from making an impact in the major leagues than Frazier. But the strong defense, combination of power and speed, and high walk rate make him a very intriguing prospect and one that the Tigers would love to have in their system.
There is a chance that Florial is viewed by the Yankees as untouchable, like Torres. He is certainly worth inquiring about however, as the Yankees will need to move some serious prospect capital in order to acquire Fulmer.