I was surprised that this happened. Not necessarily in a good way.
It was noted, the Tigers’ production at second base has been horrendous this season. Throw all the ugly numbers out there that you want. They have been bad.
A possible starting pitcher was another need seeing as, again throw all your numbers out there, the Tigers’ back end starters, namely the fifth spot, have been inconsistent.
We’ve seen Drew Smyly, Adam Wilk, Duane Below, Jacob Turner (now a Marlin) and Casey Crosby take their turns. Now it seems the constant turn is Anibal Sanchez’s to loose.
I’ll back off the previous ledge that I was surprised in-a-not-so-great-way. I think Sanchez is a great option in the rotation and fits in perfectly with the other starters. With the way Rick Porcello, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer have been throwing behind Justin Verlander, Sanchez becomes a really good fifth or fourth option. Miami is also third-to-last in runs scored. Detroit is seventh. Remember Doug Fister winning all those games down the stretch because he got actual run support after he came over from Seattle? We could see the same thing here.
I also really like the Infante pick up. Not only is he a solid second base option (Go ahead, Google the Tigers’ terrible offensive numbers at the position again), but he is familiar with the Tigers having played in Detroit from ’02-’07. Infante holds a little more value because he can play the outfield if need be.
Here is the one thing I don’t like. I get that we gave up a minor league pitcher who is a ways away from the Majors. I also get that we moved Rob Brantly, a top-tier catching prospect. I actually am glad we moved Brantly. He’s a well-regarded player, and I think he’ll be great for Miami in the future, but he wasn’t getting on the field with Alex Avila blocking his path. Ok, back to the thing I don’t like: we gave up Jacob Turner. For a guy who is supposedly going to be a top-tier starting pitcher, the return should have been substantial. I would understand if they moved these guys along with another prospect for someone like a Cole Hamels or a Matt Garza, but it seems like a low-ish sell for Sanchez and Infante.
Dombrowski has said he isn’t mortgaging the future for a stop gap player, but that’s what he’s done. Sanchez is a free agent after the season. So is Cole Hamels. I’m not saying we should have gone and gotten Hamels, but maybe a player with a little more clout. I also don’t think that Turner was the absolute future, but he was a part of it at least.
Sanchez and Infante join the ever-growing list of former Marlins players/personnel who have landed in Detroit. Jim Leyland and Dombrowski are former Marlins employees, as is Miguel Cabrera. Other former Florida/Miami players who have transitioned to the Tigers in recent memory include Ivan Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Todd Jones, Edgar Renteria and Jason Grilli to name a few. Speaking of Cabrera, this might be the Tigers feeling bad that they ripped off the Fish in the Cabrera trade.
The other key here is that the Tigers moved up in the new compensation round. They go from the last pick in round B to the last pick in round A. I have a sneaky feeling that that pick could turn into a star/impact player. You heard it here first.
So here’s my final thought on this subject, one that I have been quite wishy-washy on: I like what we got, but not what we gave up.