The Miami Marlins have been the subject of much criticism since they started dealing away players last July. Their salary-dumping ways have caused the Players Association to monitor the team's moves closely, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
But some of their trades not only made sense for financial reasons for the Marlins, but will improve the club in the short and long-term, especially their deal with the Tigers on July 23, 2012.
As the Marlins essentially waved the white flag at midseason, they sent veterans Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, which was in second place at the time in the American League Central.
The deal was a short-term positive for the Detroit Tigers.
Infante would bat .353 in the Division Series against the Oakland Athletics and .375 in the World Series loss against the San Francisco Giants. Sanchez pitched 20.1 innings in the postseason, posting a 1.77 ERA, striking out 18 and walking only six. A pitched ball broke Sanchez's wrist in the World Series, and he is under contract for next year. Sanchez re-signed with the Tigers as a free agent.
But the Marlins' return for Sanchez, a No. 3 starter, and Infante, a capable middle infielder, was impressive and should start paying dividends in 2013.
Jacob Turner, the ninth pick overall in the 2009 draft, is 21 years old and has already logged 13 starts in the major leagues over the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
He fared poorly with his six starts with the Tigers, but pitched well in Miami. His highlights included a seven-shutout-innings performance against the Cincinnati Reds on September 14 and taking a one-hit shutout into the eighth against the Mets on October 2 in a hard-luck no decision.
Turner's catcher that day was Brantly, who homered in the Marlins' victory. The 23-year-old catcher hit .290 with an OPS of .832 in his 31 games in Miami. Between three teams in Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .298.
According to the Detroit News, Brantly needs to improve defensively, but his bat seems to be there already.
If Sanchez left the Marlins via free agency rather than by a trade, the best Miami could have received for him was two draft picks that may or may not pan out.
Instead, it received two players who are younger and financially in its control for six seasons, but have already produced on the major league level.
Anyone monitoring the Miami Marlins now would see that they may actually be putting a good team together with Brantly and Turner as two building blocks.