Cubs Acquire Jacob Turner

The Cubs have bought low on another once-promising right-hander, as they’ve announced the acquisition Jacob Turner from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-handers Tyler Bremer and Jose Arias. Chicago placed a claim on Turner earlier this week after Miami designated the once prized prospect for assignment and placed him on revocable waivers.

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Turner, who only recently turned 23, is a former first-round pick of the Tigers, and it wasn’t long ago that he was regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects. Acquired by Miami as the centerpiece to 2012’s Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade with Detroit, Turner has struggled with the Marlins and was designated for assignment because he is out of minor league options. While the Marlins reportedly had lost patience with Turner after his struggles in both the rotation and the bullpen, the move is a curious one for a team that typically doesn’t spend much; cost-controllable starters with this type of upside are hard to come by, and Turner’s rotation spot will reportedly be filled by Brad Penny, making this decision a puzzling one, to say the least.

Though Turner’s ERA jumped from 3.74 last year (in 118 innings) to 5.97 in this year’s 78 1/3 innings, there’s plenty to like about the rest of his numbers in 2014. Turner’s K/9 rate, swinging strike rate and average fastball velocity have all increased (though he has not shown a significant jump in the latter measure when taking into account only his innings as a starter). Meanwhile, his BB/9 rate has dipped from 4.1 to 2.6. He’s also seen his ground-ball rate spike from a solid 45.7 percent to a strong 51.3 percent this season. Sabermetric ERA estimators such as FIP (4.01), xFIP (3.93) and SIERA (3.98) all feel that Turner has been markedly better than his earned run average would suggest in 2014.

Turner, who signed a Major League deal out of the draft (before the CBA banned such contracts), has a $1MM option for next season and can be controlled via arbitration once he has accumulated three years of Major League service. He’s controllable through at least the 2018 season for the Cubs and represents a chance for Chicago to buy low on another talented but struggling arm, as they did in 2013 with Jake Arrieta.

Turner, of course, may never bounce back to the level which Arrieta has in 2014, but the marginal cost to acquire him made this a fairly easy call for president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer once the Rockies surprisingly neglected to make a claim.

The 24-year-old has a 3.10 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in in 52 1/3 innings of relief between Class-A Kane County and Class-A Advanced Daytona this season. Arias, a 23-year-old Dominican hurler, has a 1.77 ERA with 11.3 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 40 2/3 innings at Kane County this season. Neither pitcher ranked among the Cubs’ top 30 prospects (per Baseball America) heading into the season.

ESPN’s Keith Law first broke the news of the trade (on Twitter). Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that two Class-A pitchers were headed to the Marlins, with Law tweeting that both were relievers. Bremer’s brother, Noah, first tweeted his inclusion in the deal, while ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers tweeted that Arias was the second pitcher.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


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139 Comments on "Cubs Acquire Jacob Turner"


Member
baseballa3
10 months 29 days ago

Great move by the Cubs

Member
Chioakcisco
10 months 29 days ago

Meanwhile in Colorado…
(snoring)

Member
TheoHoyer
10 months 29 days ago

Dan O’Dowd needs to be fired. His time is up. The Rockies are going no where, fast.

Member
10 months 29 days ago

Can’t say because I don’t follow Rockies much, but why didn’t they trade anyone at deadline? Jorge de la Rosa is a free agent after season right? Seems to me they could have got something for him.

Member
connfyoozed .
10 months 28 days ago

Jorge’s injury history might scare some teams, but numerous teams (supposedly including my Pirates) have asked about him over the last few years. I agree with you.

Member
SwingtimeInTheRockies
10 months 28 days ago

As one of the few arms who stays healthy and pitches well at Coors, we kind of have to hold on to him. He can be given a qualifying offer and seems to like being here. JDLR is worth more to the Rockies that he would be to anyone else.

Admin
10 months 28 days ago

The Rockies DFA’d Jason Pridie on Wednesday to make roster space for the call-up of 29-year-old journeyman Brooks Brown, who hasn’t ended a MiLB season with an ERA under 4 since 2007 and just got his first MLB action this year.

All they needed was a barely-competent pitcher, and instead they were GIFTED the chance to get one who actually has some value and some legitimate upside. They would have had virtually complete leverage and would’ve given up essentially nothing in return, but passed. Unbelievable, really.

Member
connfyoozed .
10 months 28 days ago

I saw Brooks Brown pitch last year in AAA Indy, and this year with the Rockies. To call him a journeyman is almost an insult to journeymen. He has no business sniffing the major leagues.

Member
Ray Ray
10 months 28 days ago

Dick Monfort has what he calls the Rockies “culture,” if a player or executive fits into that culture, he has a job for life. However if he doesn’t they will bad mouth him and send him packing for pennies on the dollar (ala Dexter Fowler last year) Tulo will probably go the same route after a major blow up with ownership. I really wish I could go back in time and never become a Rockies fan, but I am in too deep now.

Member
SwingtimeInTheRockies
10 months 28 days ago

Largely, yes.

Member
SwingtimeInTheRockies
10 months 28 days ago

All of this is true. I don’t know how you determine who has the worst organization in baseball but we HAVE to make the shortlist.

This was a no-brainer, how in God’s name could we have dropped the ball on this one? Like getting up Christmas morning, seeing a pile of shiny gifts with your name on them and thinking: “Nah, I’ll just run away from home and be a rent boy.”

Member
10 months 29 days ago

NIce to see the Cubs exploits the Marlins bonehead move in dropping Jacob Turner. Dude hasn’t been great but he’s still young (no options, also.)

Member
bigbadjohnny
10 months 29 days ago

What a steal !

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DingLayGorFe
10 months 29 days ago

2 class-A? Cubs overpaid.

Member
TheoHoyer
10 months 29 days ago

I’d say Turner has more upside than two Low-A receivers.

Member
CubsFan5
10 months 29 days ago

Low-A relievers…

Member
xcal1br
10 months 28 days ago

Two relatively old class-A pitchers. This looks like a great move by a great front office.