Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
I've spent the better part of a day analyzing this deal in my head, and I'm still not sure what to make of it, perhaps that's the sign of a truly balanced deal. It's no surprise that the Tigers are in win now mode, and the fact that the team again made a July deal declaring their intentions to win it all this fall was almost expected. Adding Omar Infante gives the team an everyday second baseman (something they've been lacking since Placido Polanco left), and Anibal Sanchez helps upgrade the starting rotation for 2012. These are solid additions that will make this club better. But are either of these players game breakers that can arguably vault the Tigers past the Rangers and Yankees in the AL pecking order? I'm skeptical of that. Trading a player like Rob Brantly made perfect sense given the organization's depth at catcher with players like James McCann and Curtis Casali after Alex Avila, and a pitcher like Brian Flynn while serviceable, is likely never going to become a player the Tigers regret giving up on. But then it comes back to Jacob Turner, and the fact that the Tigers may well have given up their top pitching prospect for a two month rental and a solid but unspectacular second baseman. If Turner ends up becoming the top of the rotation starter many still project him to be, it's likely the deal comes back to bite them, and even if he doesn't and follows the path of Rick Porcello, a solid but not dominating starter, that's still a cost-controlled starting pitcher for many years into the future. The Tigers are going "all in" and they've improved their chances for 2012, which is great. But is this move enough to get them over the edge, and was the steep price they paid worth it? I'm not so sure.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
The trade makes a lot of sense for both the Tigers and Marlins. The Marlins clearly aren't going anywhere this year and flipping Sanchez and Infante for value is a wise move. They get back one very, very good prospect and two secondary pieces that both could have big league futures. From the Tigers perspective, they have instantly upgraded at second base and Sanchez should help stabilize the back of the rotation if Smyly's injury lingers or he hits the rookie wall late in the year. Infante is under contract at an extremely reasonable rate for 2013 and that gives the Tigers time to figure out what long-term direction they want to head at the keystone. There are open questions about Sanchez's willingness to sign a contract extension with the Tigers, but if they Tigers are able to extend him, this trade is an absolute win. On the back end of this deal the Tigers moved up in next year's draft, flipping spots with the Marlins by trading competitive balance picks and getting into the supplemental first round. Though it may be a footnote of the trade -- this is the first time in MLB history that picks have exchanged hands in a trade -- the move up is significant for the Tigers as they likely added a prospect that immediately vaults into their top ten. Overall, the deal was one that both had to be made and is a good deal for the club and that is not an easy feat to accomplish.
Chris Vannini, Senior Staff Writer
Man, don't the days of being a seller seem so long ago? I agreed with a tweet I saw from Mark: Prospects are supposed to make your team better. That's exactly what has happened. Mike Illitch wants to win now. Right now. This trade gives them the best opportunity to do that. With the Yankees, Rangers and Angels lighting it up, the Tigers needed to add to the arsenal if they wanted a shot at reaching the World Series. Now, these aren't top-level additions, but they fill holes. If you want to beat those previously-listed teams, you can't have holes. Sure, I thought the Tigers might be able to get more for a deal with Jacob Turner, but I still like what they get. Besides, you don't know if Turner is going to pan out. Remember Andrew Miller and the Miguel Cabrera trade? You can be upset with the Tigers sacrificing the future, but you can't fault Illitch and Dave Dombrowski for having a plan and going for it. This is all-in, and that's exciting.
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