On Monday, the Tigers traded Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. That, obviusly, is not news. We have covered it repeatedly and thoroughly on Bless You Boys.
It's probably not news that some fans have reacted in an expected fashion, now that Infante has a few games under his belt as the Tigers second baseman and Anibal Sanchez allowed three home runs in his debut in the Tigers' rotation.
How could the Tigers trade their star pitching prospect for a player who just allowed three home runs? Disaster! John Smoltz! AHH!
That's not hyperbole. Check your favorite commenting threads outside of BYB.
I am here to say: No doom. No disaster. No Smoltz. Calm down. It's going to be OK.
Last week's trade was the right move for the Tigers to make and the right time to make it; and despite a rather unsatisfactory beginning to the trade, it's still the right move to make today. It made Detroit stronger not just in the final two months of the season, but also should the Tigers make an appearance in the postseason.
I know this is the era of snap judgment. You've got to make a decision right now: Was that a good move or bad move? So when Infante bats .118 and Sanchez has an ERA of 7.50, freakouts are bound to occur. But take a step back. Look at the bigger picture.
The Tigers improved their playoff odds by filling that hole at second base. Infante's lowest batting average since the trade in 2007 was .276. He average .309 in Atlanta and .280 in Florida. This year he even added a little extra pop to his bat, coming to Detroit having already hit eight home runs on the season. All that, and he's consistently fielded well! Need we compare that to the combination of Ramon Santiago, Danny Worth and Ryan Raburn that caused so much steam to fly out of so many ears? Didn't thinks so. Advantage: Infante.
Meanwhile it's worth noting that at least Sanchez didn't give up eight runs. In just his second "full" game with the Tigers, Doug Fister did that last season. Jarrod Washburn all over again? Fister went on to finish the year with an ERA in the low 1s. Overreaction about one poor start looked completely silly in retrospect.
Sanchez made his Tigers debut against a pretty good Blue Jays squad, in a hitter-friendly ballpark (100 is neutral. 105 is the hitter-friendly three-year figure in Toronto. 107 is the one-year figure) against a team that roughed him up pretty good already this season. While allowing five runs might be disappointing, it by no means is predictive of the future. Look at what Sanchez has done against everyone else: He's been pretty darn good.
The Tigers upgraded from a spot in the rotation that had featured a couple of rookies -- including one who is now injured and another who had people declaring him a failed prospect after allowing eight runs in a game. Now they have a quality pitcher who strikes out many, allows few walks and has more than five seasons of experience.
Again, a net gain there.
Short-term returns may not have been pretty, but Infante and Sanchez are owed several more months of opportunities to prove themselves.
In the end, I think we'll be able to look back at this trade as being a key positive in the Tigers' season.