In today's column at the Detroit News, Kurt reminds us trades can't be judged immediately after they go down, though many of us do, regardless. That's exactly what happened when the Tigers acquired Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from the Miami Marlins for top pitching prospect Jacob Turner and highly regarded catching prospect Rob Brantly.
Sanchez got off to a rough beginning as a Detroit Tiger, posting a 7.97 ERA in his first 4 starts. Many fans believed the trade was a complete bust for a pitcher thought to be a 2 month rental. Yes, some even made the obligatory "John Smoltz" comparisons.
Fans are signing a different tune today. Sanchez has become a major cog in a post season starting rotation which hasn't allowed a run in 29 1/3 innings, while fans are trying to determine how the Tigers can pony up the cash in order to sign him to a long-term deal.
Omar Infante struggled mightily after the Tigers' re-acquired him to fill what had become a black hole at 2nd base. In 64 games Infante hit .257 with a .668 OPS, committing 10 errors. But in the ALDS, Infante was one of the Tigers' best players, hitting .353 and scoring 6 runs. Considering the alternatives, Infante has solidified a position which would have been a post season Achilles' heel.
In the early rush to judgement, dealing for Sanchez and Infante was called a costly bust. On the day of game 3 of the ALCS, it turns out Dave Dombrowski actually added the pieces needed to make the Tigers a true World Series contender.