Barely a half-year since building themselves into what they believed would be a winner, the Miami Marlins are not. On Monday they started the process of reconstituting their roster, trading second baseman Omar Infante and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers for a package that includes 21-year-old right-hander Jacob Turner, the Tigers' top prospect.
First reported by Fox Sports, the trade fills two immediate holes for the first-place Tigers, who needed help at second base and in their starting rotation. Infante played his first six big-league seasons with the Tigers, ending after the 2007 season, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and then the Atlanta Braves. Sanchez, who is 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA, can be a free agent after the season.
The end-to-end trade has Infante, Sanchez and the Marlins' competitive balance pick going to the Tigers in exchange for three prospects – Turner, left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn and catcher Rob Brantly – and the Tigers' competitive balance pick.
The Tigers get stronger up the middle, where their second basemen were among the worst offensive performers in the league, and in the rotation, which has been spotty after Justin Verlander. In three starts, the most recent Sunday against the Chicago White Sox, Turner had an 8.03 ERA, primarily because of a poor start against the Los Angeles Angels last week.
After spending on Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell (and just missing on Albert Pujols) this winter and opening a new ballpark, the Marlins have been a flop. They've lost nine of 12 games and fallen out of the NL East race.
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