Tigers Acquire Infante, Sanchez in Huge Deal

If it wasn't already clear that the Tigers were playing to win now, the team made it abundantly clear on Monday afternoon, when the organization pulled the trigger on a five player deal that nets them starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante from the Florida Marlins in exchange for a trio of highly rated prospects.

The Tigers netted themselves the second baseman and starting pitcher they were coveting, but it came at a very steep price.

Anibal Sanchez, a 28-year old right-hander, has battled injury issues in the past but has been a mainstay for the past three years for the Marlins. He currently sports a 3.95 ERA and a 3.40 FIP with 110 strikeouts and 33 walks in 121 innings pitched. Sanchez is under contract for $8 million for the remainder of 2012, but is a free agent at the end of the season.

Unlike past years, under the new collective bargaining agreement, the Tigers cannot receive a compensation pick for a player that has not been with the team a full year. The Tigers will not receive a compensation pick if Sanchez signs elsewhere after this season. .

Omar Infante, the former Tiger, returns to the club that first signed him. After being traded away by the Tigers after the 2007 season, Infante found success in Atlanta and was named an All-Star in 2010. He's currently hitting .287 with a .312 OBP, .442 slugging percentage and an OPS of .754. Infante is under contract for 2012 and 2013, at $4 million each year.

In exchange however, the Tigers gave up right-hander Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly, and left-hander Brian Flynn. The two clubs also swapped the competitive balance selections they each won last week, which is a net positive for the Tigers, as the Marlins received the final pick of Round A (approximately the 37th selection), which the Tigers will get in exchange for the final pick Round B, which will be about the 75th pick.

Turner is arguably the prize of the deal, having consistently been among baseball's top 50 prospects and just completing a solid start on Sunday in the big leagues against the Chicago White Sox. TigsTown ranked Turner the number two prospect in the organization.

Along with him, Brantly had emerged as an upper echelon prospect, coming in at number three in the TigsTown rankings at midseason. He also appeared in the 2012 Futures Game and playing for Triple-A Toledo, was viewed as a prospect ready to contribute soon.

Flynn is the final member of the trio, a left-hander that can dial his fastball up into the mid 90's, but has been inconsistent in maintaining that. TigsTown ranked him 27th in the organization in the midseason rankings edition.

The move clearly shows the Tigers are going "all in" right now, as it moves out a pair of coveted prospects in exchange for two solid MLB regulars. It was a steep price to pay, but could pay enormous dividends in the short run.

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