The Detroit Tigers have made a pretty big trade ahead of next weeks MLB non-waiver trading deadline. They have parted ways with two time organizational top prospect, Jacob Turner, recently promoted to Toledo Catcher, Rob Brantley and gigantor pitching prospect Bryan Flynn (not that he was a big time prospect, dude is 6 foot 8).
In return the Tigers receive back Omar Infante, once considered the future of the Tigers at 2nd base, the latin Lou Whitaker that never could get things going in Detroit who was traded away to the Cubs for Jacque Jones and has had success with the Braves and Marlins since.
Infante is hitting for close to a career high in OPS at .745 this year with 10 stolen bases and a slightly better range factor than Ramon Santiago, so he will be an upgrade defensively (barely) and offensively.
Anibel Sanchez is the prize of the trade however, a 28 year old right handed pitcher that had a quietly fantastic year last year and pretty good year so far in 2012. An xFip of 3.51 is between the “Above Average” and “Great” rating. However one has to wonder how he will adjust coming over to the AL for the first time and having a well below average defense behind him.
To make this trade worth while for the Tigers they will need Sanchez to take the ball every 5th day and eat innings at the same pace he has so far this year. Sanchez is on pace for a career high in innings pitched and close to 200 strike outs and will need to adjust quickly and has had mixed success over the past 3 years in interleague play with a 4.18 ERA over 42 innings in the last 3 years.
The Tigers definately needed to make a move ahead of the deadline to address pitching, a corner outfielder and possibly 2nd baseman. With Carlos Lee already traded, Carlos Quentin re-signing it looked like the corner outfield market was drying up quickly and the Tigers decided to move forward with Brennan Boesch’s resurgence in July and Delmon Young manning the DH spot and upgrade 2nd base instead.
Jacob Turner got his first major league win on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox with one of his better spot start performances but it wasn’t enough to convince Dave Dombrowski and the front office to keep him around as he was the centerpiece in what is so far the biggest trade of the year in baseball.
The Tigers will undoubtedly wait to see how Sanchez adjusts to the American League before offering an extension to the pending Free Agent. If he pitches well expect to see the Tigers try to get Sanchez to stick around for 5-6 more years at a $12-15MM per year rate. This may sound high for a pitcher that hasn’t had nearly as much success as some of the other pending Free Agents but in today’s game, paying a pretty good 28 year old pitcher 12MM per season is par for the course.