For the Tigers, it's about winning now, and not about what they gave up
We already knew that the Tigers were going for it this year. We knew that when they spent all that money to sign Prince Fielder. So it should hardly surprise us that they traded a couple of big prospects Monday to fill two big needs, getting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante from the Marlins.
pitched well for the
on Sunday, so well that a rival scout who watched the game said Monday, "If I were them, I would not trade him."
A few hours later, the Tigers did trade Turner, and they traded Rob Brantly, as well.
Such is life when you're all-in. You go ahead and trade away 21-year-old pitchers with plenty of ability, and 23-year-old catchers, too.
You make deals like the one the Tigers made Monday, the one that brought them Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from the Miami Marlins , and you don't look back.
"Good trade for the Tigers," another scout said, immediately after the deal became known.
Good trade, because instead of complaining about the high prices on the trade market, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski paid up and addressed his team's two biggest needs.
"We gave up a lot -- we know that," Dombrowski told reporters on a Tigers conference call.
One thing fans should love about Dombrowski: While some rival GMs complain about the high prices on the trade market, he's not afraid to give up prospects to get players he wants.
He answered a yearlong concern at second base by reacquiring Infante, who the Tigers never should have traded away (to the
for Jacque Jones) in the first place.
He solidified the rotation by adding Sanchez, whose ERA over his seven big-league seasons (3.75) is better than Matt Garza 's (3.84, and yes, I understand that Garza pitched several of those seasons in the American League East).
Sanchez isn't as exciting an addition to the starting rotation as, say, James Shields would have been, or as Cole Hamels would have been. But there's no guarantee the Tigers could have gotten someone like that.
And if Doug Fister , Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello (or even two of those three) pitch as well as they have for the last week, the Tigers don't need an exciting addition.
Really, the Tigers made their exciting additions prior to this, when they signed Prince Fielder over the winter, when they drafted Justin Verlander in 2004, and when they made a much bigger trade with the Marlins to acquire Miguel Cabrera 4 1/2 years.
In that Cabrera trade, you may remember, the Tigers sent the Marlins two prospects so hot that people were saying, "I would not trade them." Neither Cameron Maybin nor Andrew Miller has yet justified that hype.
The Tigers were committed to signing Cabrera long-term, and they did, so that deal wasn't exactly like this one. It wasn't about all-in.
Sanchez is 28 years old, and is a free agent after this year. Infante is 30, with one more year remaining on his contract after this one.
But the Tigers are worried about 2012, not about 2014 or 2015. They're trying to win, and they're trying to win now, and this trade makes it at least marginally more likely that they'll be able to do that.
It's interesting that the Marlins were supposed to be an "all-in" team this year, too. They've come to realize that their own all-in mix didn't work at all, that they simply weren't going to win with this group.
There will no doubt be more trades to come. Perhaps they'll deal Josh Johnson (the Boston Red Sox had a scout watching his start Monday night). Perhaps they'll deal Hanley Ramirez .
Meanwhile, they'll hope that Jacob Turner becomes as good as that scout I talked to today thinks he'll be.
The Tigers can't worry about that. They won't worry about.
If Sanchez and Infante help them win, it won't matter.