In one of the more interesting transactions this season, the Detroit Tigers made a move to bolster the struggling middle infield position, re-acquiring former Tiger Omar Infante in a trade with the Miami Marlins. As first reported by the MLB Network, Detroit sends prospects Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn to Miami, in exchange for Infante and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
Infante, who had been an excellent reserve player for Detroit from 2002-2007, continued to display strong play-making ability in Atlanta, after leaving Motown. In three seasons with the Braves, he hovered around the .309 mark at the plate, delivering 114 RBI and a vastly superior defensive range than Detroit's current second base options of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago.
Sanchez, who may be the biggest surprise of the transaction, brings a seven-season Marlin career, in which he posted a 3.75 ERA in 794.1 innings pitched. Though not a dominating hurler, Sanchez brings Detroit a solid number three or four arm that lends to added consistency in the starting rotation. Though currently on the disabled list, Sanchez is a poised veteran who has performed adequately enough in big situations to warrant a steady role in the Tigers' playoff push.
Turner, long viewed Detroit's most prolific pitching prospect in years, came to Detroit in 2009 as the 22nd-ranked prospect in the nation. The 21-year-old spent most of the season in Triple-A, but has spent a few spot-starts in the Majors, including helping Detroit to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on July 22. His Toledo ERA of 2.77 with six strikeouts per nine innings kept him on the radar for many teams, though his Major League inconsistency left much to be desired.
Turner was hailed as the next Justin Verlander, as he emerged from the 2009 MLB Draft. With the window for Detroit's World Series hopes beginning to show cause for urgency, a future pitching prospect would not outweigh the Tigers' view of current standing in the American League Central Division.
The acquisitions of both Infante and Sanchez will have a huge impact on the rest of Detroit's season, lending stability at both positions. General Manager Dave Dombrowski made a tremendous move in that the Tigers' two most glaring issues have been cleaned up with a single swipe of the pen.
Both teams also, as part of the deal, swapped draft picks for the upcoming supplemental draft. The Tigers will now have the last pick in compensation round A, while Miami will have the final pick in compensation round B.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.
- Sports & Recreation
- Omar Infante
- Miami Marlins
- Anibal Sanchez
- Detroit Lions