The White Sox have claimed right-hander Jacob Turner off waivers from the Cubs, according to the club’s transactions page at MLB.com. Turner, 24, didn’t pitch in the Majors this season, spending most of the year on the 60-day disabled list due to a strained right flexor tendon and right shoulder inflammation.
Formerly one of the top prospects in the game — Baseball America ranked him within its Top 30 for three consecutive offseasons from 2010-12 — Turner’s career has been slowed dramatically by injuries. The Tigers selected him ninth overall in the 2009 draft, and he was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami to Detroit.
Turner spent parts of three seasons with the Marlins and was mostly healthy there (he did miss time in 2014 with shoulder issues), but he wasn’t able to deliver on his considerable upside. Miami made the tough call to designate him for assignment in August of 2014, as he was out of options and couldn’t be sent to the minors without clearing waivers (which was never going to happen at that point). Miami placed Turner on revocable waivers, with the hope of working out a trade to a club with a high priority, and there was some surprise when the Rockies, who then had the No. 1 waiver priority, neglected to place a claim. The Cubs, who were second in line, promptly claimed him and worked out a trade, sending minor league right-handers Tyler Bremer and Jose Arias to Miami in return.
In hindsight, the series of transactions was largely inconsequential, as Turner was healthy enough to throw just 34 2/3 unsuccessful innings for the Cubs, though it made plenty of sense for the Cubs to roll the dice on a prospect with the type of upside Turner possessed.
The White Sox will now look to do the same, although because he’s out of options, they’ll have to either pass him through outright waivers — something the Cubs just failed at doing, hence the claim — or keep him on the 40-man roster all winter and Spring Training. Turner would have to break camp with the big league club next year or be exposed to outright waivers late in the spring.