Thoughts on Tigers trading Jacob Turner

A year ago at this point, the Tigers considered Jacob Turner just about untouchable.

Six months ago, the Tigers wouldn’t have traded Turner straight-up for Matt Garza, let alone in a package for Garza, as one talent evaluator famously said.

Tonight’s lesson: A half-season can change perceptions. A lot. It’s not the high regard for Turner around baseball that changed (OK, it changed a little, but he’s still highly regarded) so much as the Tigers’ situation to deal him.

When the Tigers refused to offer up Turner to the Cubs last winter, they considered him a potential front-runner for the fifth starter’s job. The competition in Spring Training was his to win, though Drew Smyly was a darkhorse candidate.

You know the rest. By the middle of camp, Turner was shelved with shoulder tendinitis, and Smyly was pitching his way into a job in Detroit. By mid-May, Smyly was looking like the most promising young pitcher the Tigers had. And the Tigers could at least envision their rotation without Turner down the road.

Does that justify trading Turner in a package for soon-to-be-free-agent starter Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante? Not necessarily. But it justifies the Tigers changing their stance on listening to offers on Turner.

The thing to consider is the rotation as a whole. Justin Verlander is under contract through 2014, which is also the same amount of time Max Scherzer has before he’s eligible for free agency. Doug Fister and Rick Porcello aren’t eligible for free agency until 2015. Yes, Turner takes a future starter — potentially a front-line one — out of the system, but health permitting, the Tigers might not have a pressing need for one for a while. Even if Sanchez bolts as a free agent this winter, Smyly could simply slot back in.

It won’t be cheap to keep that rotation together. Traditionally, the time to talk contract with top starters is two years out from free agency, not one, so this winter might be the time for the Tigers to talk with Verlander and his agent to feel out the chances for a contract extension. Porcello and Scherzer are both going to become increasingly expensive through arbitration, and Fister’s eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.

Smyly, though, gives them one good young arm. Dombrowski also pointed to Casey Crosby, whose future as a starter or reliever might have just been answered.

“We do feel we have a couple of young starters who are there in Smyly and Casey Crosby, so we do have a little bit of depth in that area,” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said on Monday night’s conference call.

Andy Oliver is also still at Toledo, though it’s hard to say if he’ll ever put things together to be considered a big-league starter again.

Depending on how next summer’s draft unfolds, too, the draft pick the Tigers acquired from Florida at the end of the first round could turn into another starting prospect.

Does that justify making this deal? Not necessarily. But if Monday’s reports about the Ryan Dempster trade are true, that the Cubs would get Braves pitching prospect Randall Delgado in return, then the price tag for pitching on the market just went up.

If the Tigers had gone back to the Cubs and packaged Turner with a prospect (say, Brantly) for Matt Garza, they might have pulled it off. But they still would’ve needed a second baseman, and they would’ve had less to offer. They would’ve had Garza for an extra year, but they wouldn’t have had a second baseman.

As for Brantly, Dombrowski said, “We’ve still got a young starting catcher in Alex Avila. You aren’t going to have both of them in the organization at some point, because you usually aren’t going to have two left-handed hitting catchers at the Major League level.”

The Tigers’ depth at catcher in their system helps. The fact that Brantly was regarded as the best of the bunch, far and away better offensively, doesn’t.

Ultimately, what Sanchez does down the stretch — the fact that he has never pitched in the American League makes this part interesting — will go a long way towards determining whether this trade was worth it. How Turner does in the coming years will determine the rest. In the end, though, you can at least see the Tigers rotation without Turner a little easier than you could six months ago.

Does that mean Nick Castellanos could be expendable soon? Hard to see that happening, unless the Tigers suddenly shore up their outfield for years to come. That’s one factor. The fact that owner Mike Ilitch loves star players, and Castellanos has both the game and the personality to become a star, is another.

50 Comments

I think it’s a terrible trade. A #4 or 5 starter who leaves in October and an average 2B man for our top pitching prospect and our top catching prospect? Yes brantley didn’t have a future here but he’s still valuable. I think DD got the raw end of the deal.

The key word here is “prospect”. Prospects don’t win WS titles ML players do. You never know if a prospect will make or not. For every John Smoltz there’s 100 Andrew Millers.

And John Smoltz without the Braves coaching was no HoF material

I think we could have gotten a LOT more for Turner and Brantly.

7 years. 180 millions. That is what they will need to offer JV to keep him away from NY and the spotlights. He tasted the apple and he liked it. Of course, only a few has been able to prosper there. Almost every single pitcher gone there has seen his ERA go up .

Ultimately, what this trade means…Mr. I wants to win now, let the future take care of itself. I like Infante, always have. Bobby Cox trusted him to get the job done on the field. Omar given confidence and a starting gig, paid him back by performing well, so well he was an AllStar. Sanchez should be a good addition, if he puts them in the playoffs then in was a good trade (even if only a rental).

And assuming Smyley develops, the Tigers also can “sell” a starting pitcher to fill a hole this Spring.

I don’t mind this trade at all. I don’t feel Turner has the personality to be a frontline starter. I saw Brantly catch for the White Caps last year and was quite impressed. The Tigers can get by without him but I think he will certainly be missed. I think jumping up thier pick from the 2nd round to the first is a huge bump. The Tigers have given up a lot of draft picks the last few year with free agent signings and this pick will help give the farm a much needed boost.

Some of my reasons are in my last post on the previous thread, but I’m not real happy with this. It doesn’t matter if prospects make it or not, their value to this organization is as trade chips. We rarely bring a prospect all the way up, they’re trade chips. We could have gotten more for these chips by remaining patient.
Comparing this trade to other POSSIBLE trades is a non-starter of a conversation. Not even the point. Some people just love trades and will be happy, but I don’t tend to overvalue players in other organizations just because they’re not the ones we have. I thought our club was pretty good as it was with just a minor tweak needed.

I’ve already expressed my opinion on mid season trades. Do not like giving up prospects. Good offensive catchers are hard to come by. Would have liked to have kept Turner also.
.
Sanchez’ mlb record is 44-45. Tough to get excited about that. So we get a .500 record pitcher. I suppose the thinking is a .500 record is fine for the 5th spot.
.
I liked Omar Infante and was peeved (look out) when they traded him back in 07. And it really bothered me how little playing time JL gave him. Omar was probably glad to get out of the Tiger organization at the time. He might be happier this time around. He’s definitely an offensive upgrade over Ramon. Can’t remember how his defensive play compares. I remember he was pretty smooth; Guillen like.
.
The team is playing some great baseball right now. It’s infectious and even translated into a first mlb career victory for Turner yesterday. You know things are clicking when your spot starters are turning in solid winning performances. We’ll have to see how this trade affects team chemistry, taking into consideration the moves that will have to be made as a result. It’s a tough business.

I posted this last night and could make the 44-45 more likable:
Sánchez , 2012 WHIP 1.272 0.9 HR/9 2.6 BB/Inn 8 .1 SO/9 inn 3.09 BB/SO.
SO and HR up, BB down from career avg.

Posted before reading your comments Rich. Agree with you completely. My guess is we are in the minority. You’re right, some people just like trades. But to me half the fun in following a team is watching it’s young players develop.

I’ve tried to stay silent on the business side of the game for the last couple of years. Had Kaline played during the height of free agency, he might not have become Mr. Tiger. I have always hated this business element of the game. A sense of loyalty and family just don’t exist any more. So today, Mr. D decides to pull the string on Turner and go for the whole bucket of marbles. I have become so cynical about moves in baseball. I don’t believe that Nick C is untouchable either. And believe me, its better to win anytime than to be a loser. I just like the way it used to be. Anyway, let me tell you three things that I didn’t like about today’s trade:
1. If I’m going to trade for a starter, and a number five at that, I would want a Southpaw. In September, we close with KC and the Twins. Very lefty oriented lineups. Granted, if Sanchez doesn’t pan out, Smiley will probably be around then.
Maybe Sanchez is the second coming of Fister.
2. Turner had lots of upside. Compare the early numbers to JV. I just don’t think we got good value for what was given up. Brantley and Oliver or Crosby, Wilks et al, could have been packaged for a second sacker. This was supposed to be the real need. The pitching could have held until the playoffs. Four starters would have been ample then.
3. What if we don’t win! Does Sanchez resign? And you have to start negotiating a Verlander long term contract next year. I’ve always liked Omar, but the curse of Renteria, Washburn, Jaques Jones, and Aubrey Huff haunt me to this day. Infante should do fine, but I remain a skeptic. I just think if we were going to make the trade, we should have gotten more. Hoping it all works out wonderfully. DD has a pretty good track record. Good night all.

I hear ya El Tigre. There is no question the Tigers have improved themselves in the short term. Doesn’t change my opinion. We’ll have to wait to find out how it plays out in the long run.

Well stated Greg. So now there are 3 on our team. Anyone else?

Mr. I doesn’t have too much patience. How many more years will we have Verlander and Cabrera…maybe a couple, maybe not. A couple years can be a long time for Mr. I.

Until 2014, JV. Until 2015, MC unless Henning got his wish and he is traded before.

I’d die. We gotta win a WS.

Yes, Im also think that 28 years are too much

I’ll miss Jacob. It’s hard to let go of players you drafted. Hoping he finds much success in Miami. Big changes for him. He looked real good on Sunday

Just because a person likes a particular trade doesn’t mean they “just like a trade”.
I think a lot of people will be liking this trade a month from now.
You wait too long and Turner becomes Andy Oliver, remember him. He’s worth just about zero now.
I do agree Sanchez is not ideal. I too would have preferred a southpaw. But he does bring some experience, some innings and some talent to the equation. Will he adjust to the new league? Always a question mark.
The key is getting production out of the 2nd base position. If Infante produces we’re ahead of the game. He can steal a base, turn the DP and hammer you a ball over the wall. He may also have something to prove coming back here. Oh, I forgot, he may end up hitting almost .300 too.
2nd base was imperative. Waiting on Godot, Raburn and Santiago wasn’t going to work. I think the world of Ramon but when he enters a hole it gets black and deep very quickly. The inability to get the ball out of the infield is an ugly thing when it goes chronic.
Kudos to DD for having a little vision here.

That’s not what I meant. I meant that there are people who just like trades. There are people who say the offseason is their favorite time of the baseball year because of the transactions. I’ve met these people and I wasn’t referring to anyone commenting here.

Infante was the deal breaker there for wath DD said. They came in a combo unlike the available LHPs.
Hammels was beyond reach and Vargas and Richardson not that good and no 2b attached.
That is why I saw that as the most likely trade.

Hey the trade gives us mlb depth at 5th starter position which has become relevant during recent years playoffs when the 5th starter joins the relievers in the bullpen. I just dont see smyly as being effective come playoff time in that situation.

I’m Ho hum about this trade. I do think it was an awefully lot to give up for a fifth starter who is average in the NL.

This is a tough one, but I hope it works out for the Tigers. It’s hard to keep watching these guys come up through the system, pay in GR, and then get traded time and again, though. I think the guy they’ll miss the most is Brantly. I like Avila, but he’s had the one good year last season, and hasn’t proven himself completely yet. I understand with the family connection he’ll probably he thier catcher for some time, though. Time will tell, and just like every other trade, if they win, it’s genious, if they lose and Sanchez signs elsewhere, then it’s a bust.
–Mike

http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

I was surprised last night when I saw the ticker showing the trade. My daughter does not like the business side of baseball, trying to explain to her this morning that we have a new 2nd baseman and that Santiago won’t play as much. I do think he was given more of a chance this season, and I like him a lot, but I also can’t blame the Tigers for getting someone that they feel is a full time player. Doesn’t matter if we think he would make one, if they did not like him there all the time then at least they are doing something about it.

Not sure what to say on the pitching side, last year I was curious about Fister and that turned out pretty good, so I’ll just see how things pan out this year.

Let’s have some good games guys.

The Tigers have traded higher end prospects (Turner and Brantly) both a couple years away from being in the show, most likely. But they did receive a better pick in the 2013 draft (up to probably #37 from mid 70s). From MLB.com – “By virtue of this deal then, the Tigers increased their Draft pool by $692,600 in 2013.” So they can stock pile a little more next year with probably 2 high picks (our first rounder most likely in the high 20s and #37).
Giving up Turner and Brantly does make sense because of Smyly and Avilia (and Holiday/McCann). I just thought they could have gotten more, I get greedy I know.

That’s my bottom line too, that they could have gotten more. The trade itself will be judged later on, as usual. Long time readers here might remember that I used to pull for Infante the way I do Santiago now. It will be good to have Omar back. Sanchez is an upgrade from the kids in the rotation. Just keep in mind that nothing is guaranteed in the postseason.

For what I have read, the trade was triggered for the still pending Dempster trade.The inclusion of Randall Delgado supposedly hinted to a sellers market for pitching.
I dont know if the Colby Lewis injury was in the news before the trade. With Texas in the markets, the trade done could be the best available.
Pushing for Coates to be included could have been a possibility before those news.
Morosi said that Sánchez was expected to command around 48 millions , 4 years in the off season. Boras ´ client

Good point about seller’s market, which is no doubt true.
Another positive for this trade for the Tigers is that they can limit Smyly’s innings. Remember this is his 2nd year of pro ball, they couldn’t lean on him throughout September.

I would think that, at season’s end, if we want to sign Sanchez we’ll get it done. I know he’ll like it in Detroit so it’s just a matter of what kind of second half he has. And we’re able to deal with Scott Boras.
Just looked at some video of Sanchez. He’s throwing a nasty slider. Nasty.

It’s interesting how these trades come about. Just knowing that as Turner was pitching Sunday, Mr. D gets a call from Florida and all that happened as we were watching the game while they haggled about players. It would have been nice to get a Gio G type of pitcher but that wasn’t to be. There it was, a 2nd baseman and a starting pitcher. I hope they fit in right away.

I had to wonder if the Miami GM was watching Turner pitch as he made the call. He was looking pretty good between the 3rd and 4th inning.

I think DD made a great trade. He filled 2 areas of need with 1 transaction and retained rotation depth (see Rangers and Angels). I also think many of our posters have undervalued Sanchez. He is not Hamels, but no true # 5 starter can command a 4 year contract at $48 million, as reported by Morosi. .

Guess we’ll know after he’s pitched some in the AL. Just to present a fact, his ERA in inter-league is 5.00. That said, he’s bound to be better here on a good team.

Toronto will not be the ideal matchup for his first game.

So does Omar start tonight? Can’t wait to see that little sucker.

Brian Britten‏@BBritten_Tigers

Tigers have optioned INF Danny Worth to Triple A Toledo

We are trying to win the World Series. DD nailed it with the pickup of Omar Infante to fill our three year Black Hole at second base. He ranks as one of the top five offensive second sackers in all of MLB. Look at the doubles and think of DD. Defensively, he ranks middle of the pack of MLB qualifiers behind Robinson Cano but ahead of Ian Kinsler. The addition to our pitching staff looks like a good fit, too.
Sanchez is on his way to a third straight year of 200 innings. Think innings eater. We need that this year as we have some bullpen guys who have pitched too many innings to this point of the season. For the players we gave up this will be a wonderful opportunity. Brantly,as a LHB at the catching position was blocked in Detroit. In Miami, he could be called up as a backup as soon as next year. Turner needs at least 2013 in the minors to further his development before hitting Miami full time. Both GMs should be looking at this as a Win-Win for both sides.

AL 2 is going to Lakeland to begin rehab…same source

One overlooked fact. Infante played CF for the Tigers. He has not played in the OF since 2010 but has played the three positions. He is what the Tigers want Kelly and Raburn to be

Let’s just have him be the very best second baseman he can be. And hit .280 . With VMart doubles.

Don’t think he will play CF. Ajax, QB and then Dirks are all better than Omar in the OF and you need speed in CoPa to paly CF.

For sure but Kelly and Raburn are there because of “flexibility”.Once Dirks is back. There is no reason to keep them. Only the righ arm gives RR an edge

Sanchez and Omar already have #’s on the Tiger website. #19 & #18.

After listening to Sanchez’ interview, I like his attitude. As long as Santiago isn’t dealt this trade shouldn’t mess with chemistry. Ramon is a professional, toes the company line and will still get playing time. I hope he is a late inning defensive replacement for Peralta. Leyland will have to re-adjust his opinion of Infante (it WAS the same as his of Santi), tho it shouldn’t be a problem. Now, the biggest thing is Omar not putting too much pressure on himself.

Seems like I heard once that Omar was supporting a family of 19, so pressure is nothing new to him.

The Tigers have to have about the weakest bench in baseball. Worth is going down; that leaves Laird, who’s been all right this year, Santiago, Kelly and Raburn. When Dirks comes back, surely they’ll release either Kelly or Raburn, but the personalities involved make you wonder if they’ll do something weird instead.

Berry should add some nice dynamics to the bench.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,308 other followers