The Detroit Tigers have just pulled a trade with the Florida Marlins (pending physicals) that brings Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit in exchange for top prospects Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly, and another rising pitcher, 6’8” lefty Brian Flynn (AA Erie).
The two teams also exchanged compensation picks in next year’s draft. The Tigers will bump up some in that swap.
Jacob Turner showed enough in his 3 starts this year to get other teams interested in his vast potential. At just 21 years old, the sky is still the limit for him. Turner aside, catcher Rob Brantly might be the hotter of the 2 prospect in the deal.
Brantly just performed in the MLB Future’s Game and as a left-handed hitting catcher was very highly coveted. He just turned 23 years old and has hit .287 with 3 homers and 30 RBI’s between AA and AAA this year.
Flynn has a 3.95 ERA between two levels this year as his immense size has scouts intrigued.
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The Tigers in turn bolstered the weak spot in their starting rotation by adding Sanchez. He is just 28 years old and under team control for a few more years. He is 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA thus far in 2012, pitching for the National League East’s Florida Marlins. Sanchez adds another strikeout pitcher to the mix as he has already punched out 110 hitters on the season.
Sanchez started the year as one of MLB’s most consistent pitchers before unraveling a bit during the month of June. Tigers scouts liked what they saw over his last few starts enough to send away the once untouchable Turner. Sanchez has a lifetime 3.75 ERA and turned in his best season a year ago when he notched 202 K’s and a 3.67 ERA.
Infante rejoins his original team now at 30 years old. He will fill the gaping hole at 2nd base for the Tigers currently being held by Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago. Infante is hitting .287 with 8 homers and 33 RBI’s on the year.
This trade sends a clear warning shot across the decks of the Rangers, Angels, and Yankees that the Tigers are in it to win it all in 2012. Drew Smyly’s spot in the rotation will now be filled by Sanchez and Infante solidifies Detroit’s up the middle defense and batting order top to bottom.
Infante’s .312 on-base % suggests that he fits best lower in the batting order, perhaps even as a #9 guy, but he could be serviceable in a variety of lineup locations. Detroit will have to make a roster move to clear space for Infante.