Miami Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Sunday, July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
(DETROIT FREE PRESS) It's quite a busy off day for the Tigers, who again have traded prospects for major-league help.
The Tigers have agreed to trade right-handed pitching prospect Jacob Turner, minor-league catcher Rob Brantly, minor-league pitcher Brian Flynn and a compensatory pick to the Marlins for right-hander Anibal Sanchez, second baseman Omar Infante and a compensatory balance pick (sandwich pick between first and second rounds).
"We gave up a lot," said Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski. "We know that."
Sanchez, 28, is 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA this season and has spent his entire seven-year career with the Marlins. He has a career ERA of 3.75 and is a pretty good strikeout pitcher (202 strikeouts last year in 196.1 innings, 110 this year in 121 innings).
He also pitches well against left-handed hitters (.229 batters-against average, compared to .288 vs. right-handers).
Sanchez, making $8 million this season, is a free agent after this season.
Infante, 30, played for the Tigers from 2002-07. He is hitting .287 with eight home runs and 33 RBIs this season, a marked improvement over Tigers second basemen this season. He's a free agent after the 2013 season.
Dombrowski called Infante "one of the better second basemen" in the major leagues.
"It's good to have another bat that's a threat to drive the ball," Dombrowski said.
Turner, 21, is coming off a 5.1-inning, 3-run start against the White Sox in which he earned his first big-league win with the Tigers.
Brantly was a highly regarded catching prospect for Detroit, but Dombrowski admitted he had a hard time seeing him and Alex Avila in the same organization for years to come.
"We still feel we have some good young players within our system and that's the cost of trying to win," he said. "We're trying to win this year."
The Tigers aren't expected to make anymore deals for starting pitching.
The trade could mean the end of Ryan Raburn's tenure at second base. Someone will have to come off the 25-man roster because the Tigers are giving up one man for two on the roster. The Tigers don't have to make that move until presumably Tuesday.
The trade also would appear to mean that left-hander Drew Smyly, currently on the disabled list, is out of the rotation.
In the meantime, manager Jim Leyland said Infante will bat second against left-handed starters and in the bottom half of the order against right-handers. That likely means Quintin Berry will stay at the No. 2 spot against right-handers.
The Tigers and Marlins also engaged in a deal in 2008 that sent prospects Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller to Florida for slugger Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis (who has since retired).
BY BRIAN MANZULLO/DETROIT FREE PRESS