The Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins struck a deal Monday that sends Tigers #1 pitching prospect Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly, and pitcher Brian Flynn to the Marlins in exchange for second baseman Omar Infante and pitcher Anibal Sanchez. The two teams also swapped draft picks in the deal. With this deal, the Marlins re-tooled their farm system and the Tigers filled two holes in their roster. Their rotation is now complete and could be considered overstocked with the emergence of Drew Smyly so far this season and they have filled the absolutely gaping hole at second base.
Infante returns to the Tigers for his second stint with the team and he comes back much more seasoned and gives the team the hitting and fielding they have failed to get out of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago. He brings a .287 batting average with 8 homers and 33 RBIs accompanied by a slick glove that has yielded him a .982 fielding percentage with 8 errors on the season. Anibal Sanchez is currently 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA with 110 strikeouts compared to only 33 walks. Sanchez’s numbers may not blow you away but considering the Marlins have scored the 3rd least runs in the league and score under 4 runs a game, him now pitching for Detroit may do for him what it did for Fister last year when he finally got run support behind him.
This trade may not be the blockbuster that most fans were really looking for but if you take consideration of how the team has played as of late, the Tigers may have not really needed a blockbuster trade to guarantee them a chance at the post season and/or World Series. Infante is a solid player at a position of need and they were able to get a pitcher to shore up that rotation heading into the latter part of the season to make a playoff push. They had to give up Turner which was a hefty price but trading for a player like Cole Hamels or James Shields would have cost us much more than just Turner and 2 unproven prospects. This trade gives them the role players they need to fill the roster with proven players on a team with enough star power to win the whole thing right now.