Rays Acquire Garrett Fulenchek
The Rays have acquired right-handed starter Garrett Fulenchek from the Braves in exchange for two international bonus slots.
Fulenchek, who turned 19 in June, was selected in the second round of the 2014 draft. A native Texan, Fulenchek has the attributes scouts like to see in young pitchers: size, athleticism, a heavy fastball recorded up to the mid-90s, and so on. His slider is regarded as a potential above-average pitch, though his changeup lags behind as a below-average offering. Fulenchek will require plenty of developmental time before he encroaches his middle-of-the-rotation upside, so don’t expect to see him anytime soon.
Still, it’s hard to quibble with the trade. The Rays essentially bought Fulenchek with bonus slots they couldn’t have used to their full extent due to the sanctions placed on their spending. Put another way, the Rays traded the option to spend money on young players for a pitcher who netted a $1 million signing bonus around this time last year. The Braves know pitching, and it’s possible Fulenchek’s defects prove more severe that anticipated. But given the cost, the potential reward outweighs the risk.