Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reported that the Tigers were joining the hunt for Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza. Now, it appears Detroit is willing to deal the player that should make a trade for an elite starting pitcher possible. Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Tigers have made it known that they are ready to include top young right-hander Jacob Turner in a trade “for the right starting pitcher”.
At this point, “the right starting pitcher” appears to be Matt Garza. The Tigers are said to covet the 28-year-old, and the Cubs are known to be looking for young starting pitching in exchange for their ace.
Taken 9th overall in the 2009 MLB Draft, Turner has been making his steady ascent through the Tigers minor league system for the past two seasons. Making his professional debut in Low-A as a teenager, Turner made it all the way to the bigs before the end of last season.
Turner entered the 2011 season considered the 21st best prospect in the game by Baseball America. The 20-year-old went on to make 20 starts for the Tigers Double and Triple-A affiliates, maintaining a combined ERA and WHIP of 3.44 and 1.160 over his 131 innings pitched. Last season, Turner posted a SO/9 of 7.6 and a BB/9 of 2.4.
This solid production earned Turner three starts at the major league level at the end of the 2011 season. Though he struggled during his short stint with the Tigers (8.53 ERA, 1.658 WHIP over 12 2/3 IP), Turner is still seen as one of the games’ top young arms.
Many believe that by putting Turner on the table, the Tigers may hold the advantage over other teams in the Garza sweepstakes.
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