The Detroit Tigers have acquired second baseman Omar Infante and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez from the Marlins as part of a deal that will send Jacob Turner to Florida, as first reported by FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi. The Tigers will also send catching prospect Rob Brantly, minor-league pitcher Brian Flynn and a compensatory “competitive balance” draft pick to Florida, and the Marlins will return a compensatory pick.
Turner is the gem of the Tigers’ minor-league system, despite a recent rough outing against the Angels. He picked up a victory over the White Sox on Sunday in what, apparently, was his last start as a member of the Detroit organization. The 21-year-old has just a 1-2 career MLB record, but he was the ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft and is expected to be a front-of-the-rotation starter somewhere down the line.
Brantly represented the Tigers in the MLB Futures Game this year in Kansas City. He was hitting .311 with three homers for Erie and has posted a .254 average since being called up to Triple-A Toledo.
Flynn, a seventh-round pick last year, split time between Lakeland and Erie this season, compiling an 8-5 record.
The Tigers had to give up talent to get talent, however, and they certainly added a couple of big pieces in Infante and Sanchez. Infante, you’ll remember, spent the first five seasons of his MLB career in Detroit, from 2002-07. He’s played in the National League since then, first with Atlanta (where he made an All-Star team) and now with Florida. He’s batting .287 with eight homers and 33 RBI this season — and almost certainly will inherit the every-day second base job in Detroit, ending the Ramon Santiago-Ryan Raburn-Danny Worth revolving door at that position.
Raburn or Worth’s roster spot may be in jeopardy now too, as the Tigers will have to drop someone to add both Infante and Sanchez; Worth has remaining minor-league options, so he’s the likely candidate.
Infante also is not eligible to hit free agency until after the 2013 season, increasing the return on Detroit’s investment.
Sanchez, 28, is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season, though the Tigers could try to retain him. He is 5-7 this year with a 3.94 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. Sanchez has spent his entire career with Miami, posting a 44-45 career record since coming to the show in 2006.
It’s possible that the Tigers are now done wheeling and dealing, though they may still try to acquire one more bat. The rotation, at least, appears set with Sanchez, Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.