Jacob Turner Rumors

Marlins Exercise Jacob Turner’s Option

The Marlins have exercised their $1MM club option on right-hander Jacob Turner, the team announced. Turner earned $1.175MM in 2013 — the final season of a four-year, $5.5MM contract that he signed as a first-round draft selection of the Tigers in 2009.

Turner, 22, was acquired by the Marlins in a July 2012 trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. Turner made 20 starts for the Fish this season and looks to have earned himself a place in the 2014 rotation after posting a 3.74 ERA in 118 innings. His 5.9 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 could both stand to improve, though he posted a solid 45.7 percent ground-ball rate and averaged a respectable 91.9 mph on his fastball.

Going forward, Turner figures to be a part of a young Marlins rotation that will be anchored by Rookie of the Year front-runner Jose Fernandez and will also contain Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez.


Marlins Notes: Abreu, Reynolds, Eovaldi, Alvarez

Last week we learned that the Marlins never got to the point where they received specific names in trade proposals for Giancarlo Stanton in July.  Four high-ranking officials shot down a rumored blockbuster proposal from the Pirates involving Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole in conversations with MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.  Here's more out of Miami, courtesy of Frisaro..

  • It's too early to determine whether the Marlins will attempt to sign Cuban defector Jose Dariel Abreu, Frisaro says. The team employs two young Cubans – pitcher Jose Fernandez and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria – but Abreu could ask for a deal in the vicinity of six years and $54MM.
  • At last in the majors in runs scored, the Marlins are clearly on the hunt for bats to bolster their lineup, according to Frisaro. The Fish have discussed Mark Reynolds, whom the Indians recently requested release waivers for and whom the club considered at last year's Winter Meetings. However, it's thought that he'd be a better fit with an AL team.
  • Abreu could be an option this offseason because Miami isn't expected to pursue established players on the free agent market, but the club could also offer pitching prospects in a trade for a power hitter, Frisaro suggests. However, starters Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Jacob Turner are untouchable. The Marlins appear to be targeting a hitting catcher, Frisaro says.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Prospect Rumor Roundup: 2012 Trade Deadline Review

If you're a fan of Major League Baseball and of reading sports tickers on the television, then July is the perfect month for you. More than 20 trades occurred in July 2012 as playoff-hopeful clubs looked to position themselves for strong second halves of their seasons and robust drives for the postseason.

For just about every veteran player on the move to a contending club in July, there is a prospect or two heading back in the other direction — towards a rebuilding club desperate for a cost-controlled building block. Close to 80 players changed jerseys last July prior to the looming trade deadline at the end of the month, and the 2013 season is expected to be no different.

But just how many of those young players that changed allegiances have maintained their values with their new organizations? Below is a list of the Top 10 young players who were traded last July. Only players who had not exceeded their MLB rookie eligibilities (50 IP for pitchers, 130 AB for hitters) at the 2012 trade deadline were considered for the article, and the list is in alphabetical order.

Rob Brantly, C (Tigers to Marlins): Given the Marlins' starting catcher gig at the beginning of the 2013 season, the offensive-minded backstop's bat has wilted under the pressure, and he has a .587 OPS in 49 games. The good news is that his defense has improved noticeably — perhaps thanks to the guidance from veteran second-string receiver Jeff Mathis, an excellent defensive player, and manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel looked at Brantly's inconsistent season.

Matt Dominguez, 3B (Marlins to Astros): It's been an inconsistent season for the young third baseman — both at the plate and in the field, despite his reputation as a strong defender. Just 23, Dominguez has time on his side as he looks to breathe new life into his withering bat, but questions about his offensive abilities have been floating around since his amateur days. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle penned a piece about Dominguez' focus on the future rather than the past.

Robbie Grossman, OF (Pirates to Astros): Grossman earned a shot at a starting outfield gig in Houston after a hot April in Triple-A. Unfortunately, he posted an OPS of just .553 and was returned to the minors after 28 games. His offensive struggles followed him back to Oklahoma City and he managed a measly .512 OPS in June.

Johnny Hellweg, SP (Angels to Brewers): Hellweg's raw ability is undeniable but command and control issues have haunted him throughout his pro career. Tall pitchers are considered late bloomers in those areas, and the 6'9'' right-handed hurler definitely fits into that category. He recently received his first big league promotion, but he was roughed up during his first two appearances in The Show. Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel spoke to the rookie, as well as his manager, after his first outing.

Tommy Joseph, C (Giants to Phillies): Joseph has experienced a major setback with the bat in 2013. After beginning the year in Triple-A, he hit just .209 before a concussion knocked him out of action. Now healthy again, Joseph is getting back into playing shape while at the A-ball level. The struggles and injury helped to ensure that he missed an opportunity to fill in at the big league level when both Carlos Ruiz and Erik Kratz went down in Philadelphia. Jeff Schuler of The Morning Call wrote a piece on Joseph's return from the disabled list.

Jean Segura, SS (Angels to Brewers): Perhaps the biggest success story on this list, Segura is currently in the hunt for a batting title in the National League. He also has surprising pop and an outside chance at eventually becoming a 20-20 (HR-SB) hitter. Originally a second baseman, the sturdy but diminutive hitter was relocated to the left side of the infield, but it remains to be seen how long he'll stick there. Either way, he could be a mainstay in the middle of the diamond for years to come. Mike Woods of the Sheboygan Press recently spoke to Segura who admitted to being surprised by his success in 2013.

Jacob Turner, SP (Tigers to Marlins): Turner's value has taken a hit over the past year or two as his stuff has regressed. Scouting forecasts focus more on the ceiling of a No. 3 or 4 starter now, rather than that of the No. 1 or 2 starter ceiling from the early days of his pro career. Despite that, Turner has had an excellent start to the 2013 season at the big league level by posting a 1.76 ERA and holding hitters to a .229 batting average in six starts.

Christian Villanueva, 3B (Rangers to Cubs): The emergence of Mike Olt in the Rangers system made Villanueva expendable. The Cubs third baseman has the chance to develop into a multifaceted player, albeit one without any true standout tool. He's showing solid gap power at the Double-A level but both his batting average and his on-base percentage are down in 2013.

Arodys Vizcaino, SP (Braves to Cubs): Vizcaino, 22, hasn't pitched since 2011, but he's been the property of three organizations thanks to his power arm. The right-hander injured his elbow early on in his career with the Yankees and finally underwent Tommy John surgery, missing all of the 2012 season. He looked ready to return in 2013 before undergoing a second surgery on his throwing elbow.

Asher Wojciechowski, SP (Blue Jays to Astros): One of the most unheralded acquisitions of 2012, Wojciechowski was a supplemental first round selection from the 2010 amateur draft. He didn't respond well at all when the Jays attempted to rework his delivery and his results suffered. He has rediscovered his prospect value with the Astros, although inconsistency continues to haunt him. It remains to be seen if his future lies in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

Honorable Mentions: Colton Cain, SP (Pirates to Astros); Kevin Comer, SP (Blue Jays to Astros); Kyle Hendricks, SP (Rangers to Cubs); Marc Krauss, OF (Diamondbacks to Astros); Ethan Martin, SP (Dodgers to Phillies); Carlos Perez, C (Blue Jays to Astros); David Rollins, SP (Blue Jays to Astros).

2012 Trade Deadline Winners: Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers

2012 Trade Deadline Losers: Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays



Tigers Acquire Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez

4:59pm: The teams also swap the picks they obtained in last week's competitive balance lottery, Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets. The Marlins obtain prospects Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn along with Turner, Gammons tweets. The Tigers will now have the last pick in compensation round A (after the first round), while the Marlins will have the final pick in compensation round B (after the second round).

4:41pm: The Tigers have addressed their two most pressing needs with one trade, acquiring Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez from the Marlins in a deal that will send top pitching prospect Jacob Turner to Miami. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported the trade, which suggests the Marlins are willing to look to 2013 and beyond following a disappointing 44-51 start to the season (on Twitter).

The Marlins are extremely disappointed by their team's performance and are prepared to make a series of trades, Ken Rosenthal and Morosi report (on Twitter). Josh Johnson, Randy Choate and Carlos Lee are among the team's possible trade chips.

Infante, who played for the Tigers from 2002-07, should provide Detroit with an offensive boost at second base. Tigers second basemen — mainly Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn — have combined for an MLB-worst .201/.286/.276 batting line. Infante, who's in the first year of a two-year, $8MM contract, has a .287/.312/.442 batting line in 347 plate appearances this year.

Meanwhile, Sanchez will provide Detroit with an established starter to go along with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug FisterDrew Smyly, now on the disabled list, provides the team with an additional option. Sanchez, 28, has a 3.94 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 121 innings for Miami this year. He's earning $8MM this year and is on track to hit free agency after the season. The Tigers won't be able to obtain compensatory draft picks for Sanchez, since he was acquired midseason.

Turner, the ninth overall selection in 2009, entered the season as the 22nd-best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America. He started for the Tigers yesterday, helping Detroit beat the White Sox 6-4. The 21-year-old has spent most of the season in the minor leagues, where he has a 2.77 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings so far in 2012.

Flynn, 22, has a 3.95 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 107 innings as a starter at Class A and Double-A this year. The 6'8" left-hander was a seventh round selection in 2011. Brantly, 23, is a catcher who has spent the 2012 season in the upper minors. He has a .287/.332/.387 batting line in 334 plate appearances so far this year.

MLB.com's Joe Frisaro first reported Turner's inclusion in the deal (on Twitter).


Tigers Notes: Martinez, Porcello, Turner, Castellanos

The 34-35 Tigers trail the AL Central-leading Indians by 2.5 games, but owner Mike Ilitch remains confident in the people running his team, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press reports. “I know we’ve got the right foundation,” Ilitch said, “the right people in place.” Here are more notes on the Tigers from Sharp…

  • Ilitch expects the Tigers to enjoy a boost in offense and leadership if Victor Martinez returns this season. “He was really our leader, and he’s starting to come around again,” Ilitch said.
  • Sharp wonders if the Tigers would consider trading Rick Porcello for a veteran starter or a right-handed bat with power. GM Dave Dombrowski could make Porcello available now or in the offseason if Jacob Turner is ready for a full-time starting role in 2013. Porcello, 23, has a 4.95 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 80 innings this year and will remain under team control through 2014.
  • Turner, Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia are as close to untouchable as minor league prospects get, Sharp writes.

AL Central Notes: Turner, Doumit, Royals

The Tigers are calling on Missouri native Jacob Turner to make his season debut against the Cardinals this afternoon. Turner, who started three games for Detroit last year, had a 3.43 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 42 innings at Triple-A before getting called up. Here are today's AL Central links…

  • If Turner stays in the Major Leagues from this point on, he'll have two years and 134 days of service time after the 2014 season. There's a good chance it'd be enough for Super Two status, but it won't be enough to accelerate Turner's free agency. However, the Tigers' primary focus is no doubt winning games this year.
  • Ryan Doumit, who signed a one-year, $3MM contract with the Twins last offseason, has enjoyed playing in Minnesota and has interest in returning next season, Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports. No extension talks have taken place, and there’s a sense the Twins will wait until after the trade deadline before determining how Doumit fits into their long-term plans, Mackey writes.
  • The Royals won’t necessarily be sellers this summer, scouts tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link). The Royals are in fourth place in the AL Central, 4.5 games behind the division-leading Indians.

AL Central Notes: Lannan, Pauley, Dotel, Floyd

Here's a look at some items on the Tigers and White Sox..


Tigers Notes: Damon, Cespedes, Turner

The Tigers announced this week that Victor Martinez is likely to miss the 2012 season with a torn ACL and though GM Dave Dombrowski said the team won’t act rashly, the Tigers figure to be on the lookout for a bat. Here’s the latest on the defending AL Central Champions…

  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland said on MLB Network Radio that the Tigers probably aren’t going to find someone as good as Martinez. “So if you say it’s not gonna hurt us, you’re lying,” he added. Hat tip to Jason Beck of MLB.com, who has a partial transcript of Leyland's comments.
  • Leyland said Johnny Damon’s name will likely come up since he can contribute to a club, even if he's not a "prototype DH."
  • Leyland knows there are a lot of options remaining for teams in search of hitters. “How good they produce anymore, I don’t know,” he said. “And I always ultimately leave that up to Dave. We’ve already had some discussions, I won’t say who they are, of some guys internally.”
  • John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press suggests Vladimir Guerrero and Raul Ibanez could be fits for the Tigers and notes that it remains to be seen whether Martinez's injury will affect the Tigers' pursuit of Yoenis Cespedes.
  • Right-hander Jacob Turner, third baseman Nick Castellanos, left-hander Drew Smyly and left-hander Casey Crosby top Baseball America's list of the Tigers' best prospects entering the season.
  • Leyland said the Tigers could round out their rotation with a trade or a free agent acquisition, James Schmehl of MLive.com writes. Turner and others would compete for the team's final rotation spot if Dombrowski doesn't add a starter.
  • Right-hander Max Scherzer is an extension candidate and I previewed a possible deal last night.

Epstein Talks Matt Garza

There’s been lots of trade buzz surrounding right-hander Matt Garza this offseason, but Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says more has happened in the media than has happened in reality, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. However, that doesn’t mean the Cubs are saying Garza’s untouchable in trade talks.

“I think very highly of Matt Garza,” Epstein said. “I think he’s a top-of-the-rotation type of guy and I’m looking forward to him being on the mound for us this season. We’re just being transparent about the fact that, ‘Hey, we’re in this for the long haul,' and sometimes it makes sense to weigh your options and see if you can put yourself in a better position for the long haul.”

In an interview yesterday, GM Jed Hoyer downplayed the idea that Garza will be dealt now that Paul Maholm has been signed. The Cubs are content to enter Spring Training with Garza, Maholm, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Randy Wells and Ryan Dempster in their projected rotation, Hoyer said.

Earlier this week the Tigers were said to be pursuing Garza aggressively. However, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Lynn Henning of the Detroit News that "nothing has changed" since last week, when he said that he wouldn't part with Jacob Turner in a trade. It's possible that the Tigers continue to talk about Garza with the Cubs, but a deal involving Turner seems unlikely, Henning writes.


Rosenthal On Garza, Turner, Madson, Lee

The Cubs have traded Sean Marshall, Carlos Zambrano and Andrew Cashner in recent weeks. Could Matt Garza be next? Ken Rosenthal of FOX breaks down the market for Garza and offers more rumors from around the league:

  • Cubs execs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are alarmed by the lack of minor league talent in their own system, so trading Garza might appeal to them. The Yankees, one possible suitor for the right-hander, have had concerns about Garza’s ability to handle New York in the past, Rosenthal reports.
  • Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has said he’s not looking to trade Jacob Turner, but Rosenthal hears the young right-hander is available in the right deal.
  • A contender like the Cardinals could make a surprise play for Ryan Madson, but the market for the free agent closer currently looks thin. Agent Scott Boras may wait until Spring Training to find a deal, as he has done in the past.
  • Free agent first baseman Derrek Lee expects to land a full-time job, Rosenthal reports. I examined the first base market yesterday.
  • The Mariners, who added Hisashi Iwakuma yesterday, are open to signing a veteran at the right price, Rosenthal tweets.