Examining The Turner-Sanchez-Infante Trade

The Tigers were willing to trade top prospect Jacob Turner to reinforce their roster with Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante in a move that addresses their two biggest needs. Yet there’s no guarantee that they’ll get any sort of long-term assets as a result of the deal.

Jacob Turner - Tigers (PW)

Players traded in past midseason deals could be tied to compensatory draft picks, but Sanchez won’t be connected to anything of the sort. It’s now against the rules for teams to obtain compensatory draft picks for players acquired midway through the last year of a contract. Infante, who earns $4MM per season through 2013, will not bring the Tigers draft pick compensation, either. For that to happen, the Tigers would have to be prepared to offer $12MM-plus when Infante’s contract expires following the 2013 season. It’s not happening.

Leading up to the trade deadline, some general managers speculated that teams would be reluctant to trade top prospects for players on expiring contracts. For some teams the idea of surrendering an elite prospect for a rental player seemed unappealing, especially now that the possibility of obtaining draft pick compensation no longer exists.

But for at least one club, it’s a necessary sacrifice required to make meaningful midseason upgrades. Though Turner (pictured) entered the season as the 22nd-ranked prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America, the Tigers weren’t going to address their issues at second base and in the rotation without including him. The Braves’ willingness to part with Randall Delgado for Ryan Dempster is another example of an aggressive trade offer for a player who won’t be tied to draft pick compensation.

It’s not entirely new for the Tigers — president and GM Dave Dombrowski has made a number of similar win-now decisions in recent years. Under baseball’s pervious collective bargaining agreement, they were willing to sign Type A free agents under the right circumstances, even when it meant surrendering draft choices. They had to forfeit draft picks to sign Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and Jose Valverde, though the lost draft selections were significant for Dombrowski — “you don’t like to give them up,” he acknowledged after signing Martinez.

The Tigers didn’t lose a pick in this week’s trade (they did swap competitive balance picks with Miami). But they gave up a long-term asset in Turner to bolster their chances in 2012. The Tigers-Marlins trade and the near Braves-Cubs trade appear to be encouraging developments for teams currently marketing other players on the brink of free agency. Highly-regarded prospects seem to be attainable even when draft pick compensation isn't a possibility. The Brewers, for example, can reasonably expect a top prospect of their own if they complete a trade for Zack Greinke. Maybe the new CBA won’t affect teams’ willingness to part with top prospects as much as initially expected.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

25 Responses to Examining The Turner-Sanchez-Infante Trade Leave a Reply

  1. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    I was really shocked to see the Tigers use Turner to obtain a mid-rotation rental player. I just assumed that if he were traded it would either be for a Hamels type or for someone like Garza who had at least a year of control left.

    Of course that could be that I was really gassed by the fans declaration that “No way were we trading him for anything less than Jesus Christ himself!!! Maybe the Blessed Mary but we ain’t taking on her salary though and we better be getting back a top 100 prospect too!!!!”.

    • Jim Spiher 3 years ago

      We didn’t him for a loaner, we traded him for help up the middle. Tigers have a fairly young pitching staff, and a few at AAA you will be called up in next three years. Infante was the real pick up here, the Tigers get him fro 1.5 years.

      • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

        If Turner was used to get you Infante as the main player then your GM should be fired.

  2. Teacherhst 3 years ago

    I was shocked as well but they have made these trades with the Marlins in the past and come out fine. Remember the Cabrera and Willis for Maybin and Miller. The Tigers really won that deal. I think people value prospects too highly.

    • ugen64 3 years ago

      That’s 1 trade. What about the Teixeira deal (Andrus + Harrison + Salty + Feliz)? Bedard (Jones + Tillman + Sherrill)? Haren (CarGo + Brett Anderson)?

      Also, I think the Cabrera deal was inherently different because he was only 25 years old, and he was a star player you could completely build your team around. Infante is just a role player, while Sanchez is a free agent after this year (sure, you could sign him to a long-term extension, but that’s always more risky for a pitcher than a position player like Cabrera).

  3. Gothapotamus 3 years ago

    In hindsight, the deal even looks better because the Tigers took an option off the table for the Rangers in Sanchez. The extent of Lewis’ injury was not known at the time of the deal, though.

  4. Doesn’t matter what we think. The Tigers got what they wanted in Sanchez. They didn’t want Garza, they didn’t want Dempster or anyone else for that matter. Their best trade was probable Turner and they waited for the Marlins to become sellers and they got Sanchez. It should be interesting to see how it shakes down. The Tigers are starting to play good ball.

  5. HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

    With the new CBA, as we all know, you can’t receive draft pick compensation for players traded for in the last year of their contract. Ok, simple enough.
    Therefore, won’t the market just shift then? Players with, lets say, a year and a half remaining on their contracts will be moved, since the aquiring team will then be able to net draft picks. Isn’t this simple market economics or does everyone think differently, or am I just not entirely clear on the rules of the new CBA?

    • Trout Almonte 3 years ago

      No, it’s that you simply cannot get compensation picks if the said player was traded mid year. You only get picks if he’s traded in the off-season. Therefore no mid-season roster-bolster can net you a pick under any circumstances. Therefore GMs are more likely to hold on to their stars as they may want to contend during the year. You wouldn’t want to tell your fans that you gave up on the season already before it started, do you? (Unless you’re the Astros of 2012)

  6. hgr900 3 years ago

    Turner is a worse version of Rick Porcello. Guy has no ability for k’s. So overated

  7. Pawsdeep 3 years ago

    Turners stock was falling. I still think very highly of the kid but his potential as a 1-2 type starter was shattered when he went to AAA. I still think turner will devolop into a fine starter, but his numbers at Toledo were less than encouraging.

    This was a very fair trade on both sides, IMO. The swap of comp picks really made the deal much easier to digest for the extra draft money they have to spend alone. Let alone that talent that may come with the pick. On top of that, porcello is now detroits number five guy. That a pretty solid rotation and they got the help they desperately needed at 2B.

    • hgr900 3 years ago

      Agree. He’s nothing more than a #4 or a #3 at best. Just can’t k anyone at any level over AA

      • Patrick Nichols 3 years ago

        Thank you! I swear it feels like I’ve been taking crazy pills. They had concerns about his shoulder as recently as March and his AAA peripherals were pure garbage. I’m not saying the guy won’t become a good major league starter, but he’s not even their top prospect any longer (Castellanos has certainly overtaken Turner).

  8. nm344 3 years ago

    Not being able to pick up Comp picks has made zero difference in trade values so far.

  9. Turner will be a lot better in the Marlins park and the NL

  10. Top prospect for mediocre rental pitcher at best…steal for the marlins..Sanchez hasn’t pitched in the AL before either..no clue what your getting.not worth 8m/year. No wonder Miami is having a fire sale

    • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

      Look at turners numbers in Toledo; he’s not adjusting well as at this pace, his ‘top prospect’ title won’t be there next spring. Turner is good, but I’m doubting he becomes anything more than a number 3 starter, which is what Sanchez ha already proven to be.

      There was no fleecing with this deal on either side.

  11. Hoosierdaddy92 3 years ago

    Like the deal, don’t love it though. If we resign Sanchez at a reasonable contract at the end of the season (the MCab, Victor Martinez, now Omar Infante Venezuelan lure could help), it is a perfectly good move. Make no mistake though Marlins fans, Turner is a great find. Sanchez and Omar Infante were both expendable and not going help the Marlins that much or at all next season. Bonifacio is more valuable at second base than OF too. The Hanley trade…you have every right to be livid though.
    I do have to wonder how much more the Tigers would have had to include to make a package deal for James Shields and Ben Zobrist though, both significantly better upgrades all around. If they could have made a package that included any prospect not named Castellanos, I would have preferred that to this deal. Shields and Zobrist still have reasonable contracts for any team that isn’t Tampa. But overall, I’m very happy with this deal.

  12. bobbleheadguru 3 years ago

    The Tigers got a gift with their competitive balance pick and then parlayed that into a better, end-of-the-1st-round sandwich pick as part of this deal. This means they have a reasonable chance of replacing Turner as part of the deal during the draft.

    That relatively high draft pick is missing in the valuation of the deal.

    Infante has a good chance of staying with the team beyond next year. Sanchez looks like a true rental… and that is OK… if he can help get the Tigers into the playoffs and then win just 1-2 playoff games, he is worth it.

  13. hgr900 3 years ago

    The Marlins have the most confusing business model I’ve ever seen

  14. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    Marlins got hosed for uggla, infante being the big piece in that trade

  15. JayTeam 3 years ago

    Fans value their own teams prospects much higher. They value other teams prospects much lower.

Leave a Reply