This is surprising for a number of reasons:
1. If they really wanted to get rid of Turner, the Marlins probably should have found a trade partner before the deadline so they could have extracted as much value for him as possible, instead of being left to the whims of the waiver wire (the Cubs immediately claimed him, and now they’re the only team the Marlins can deal with).
2. As I mentioned above, Turner is still only 23, and while his ERA of 5.97 is certainly unsightly, peripheral stats suggest he’s been more of a 4.00 ERA-type pitcher this year. And considering that he isn’t even eligible for arbitration until 2016, the Marlins would have had plenty of time to wait on him.
3. Turner was the headlining piece the Marlins received from the Tigers in the 2012 deadline deal that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit (along with pitcher Brian Flynn, who will take Turner’s roster spot, and catcher Rob Brantly, who hasn’t made any sort of impact in Miami).
That deal already looked like a huge win for the Tigers, but now it’s official (you could say they fleeced the Marlins – thus validating the image I used at the top of this post). Not only were Sanchez and Infante key players down the stretch in 2012, Infante was also excellent last year (before leaving as a free agent this past offseason), and Sanchez, after resigning with Detroit on a deal that now looks like an incredible bargain, has become one of the top 15 pitchers in the AL.
This, of course, also harkens back to another franchise-shaping deal between these two franchises; the one that brought Miguel Cabrera to Detroit in 2007. There’s no need to recap what Miggy has done since joining the Tigers. And even though Dontrelle Willis, the other player the Tigers received in that deal, was an unmitigated disaster, Cabrera’s contributions far outshine any negative value Willis may have had.
And who did the Tigers give up in that deal? Well, pretty much nobody. At least, nobody who ended up helping the Marlins all that much. Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin were the big gets for the Marlins at the time. Each of them developed some value later in their careers, but not in South Florida. As for the minor leaguers, Burke Badenhop has become a solid reliever (again, not with the Marlins), and Eulogio De La Cruz, Dallas Trahern, and Mike Rabelo never did more than sip a cup of coffee in the majors.
So, in the past eight years the Tigers and Marlins have made two huge trades. Both times the Marlins ended up receiving almost nothing in return for players who have gone on to win MVP awards and make All-Star teams.
The Tigers are often chastised in the blogosphere for not building a very good farm system. But, who needs a farm system when you have the Florida/Miami Marlins?
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