Yesterday, the Miami Marlins surprised quite a few folks by designating 23-year-old pitcher Jacob Turner for assignment so that they could add a bullpen arm to the 40-man and 25-man rosters.
Being that it is in our nature to be curious any time a previously studly pitching prospect comes onto the market, especially when it’s a guy whose peripherals and velocity trends look good this year, I discussed the possible implications of Turner’s DFA yesterday. In the end, I thought it was likely to be mostly academic, as the team with the top waiver priority right now for Turner is the pitching-needy Rockies, and they would surely gobble him up.
Or maybe not …
Among the teams that may be interested in a waiver claim on RHP Jacob Turner, the #Rockies are not one of them, I'm told…
— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) August 6, 2014
Surprised? I am. It’s only one report at this point, but Groke is legit. Maybe the Rockies really aren’t interested.
That the Rockies of all teams would not be interested in Turner has me wondering whether they know something our initial read didn’t reveal. Is there something about Turner that is known in baseball circles, and unknown to us? Or is there something strategic or procedural going on here?
I can’t speculate as to the former, but, on the latter, I do wonder if it’s possible that the Marlins have let teams know that, if they claim Turner, the Marlins will not let him go absent a really strong return. Perhaps that would be enough to scare teams off from claiming Turner, but, as we explored (albeit with some lingering questions) yesterday, because Turner has been DFA’d, the Marlins are going to have to give other teams a crack to get him one way or another, either by way of revocable waivers and a trade, or by outright waivers and a free grab.
I will freely admit that it’s possible there are some angles to the interplay between August trade waivers and the DFA rules that I don’t fully understand, and that could explain why a pitching-needy team like the Rockies would pass on Turner. The same angles could cause the Cubs to pass (or, perhaps their own scouting of Turner and contentedness with the fringe pitching situation would be enough to do it).
The point here is only that it looks like the Rockies will pass, and, thus, the first crack at Turner could go to the Cubs if they want it, and if he’s waived before the Diamondbacks “pass” the Cubs in the standings. Currently, the Cubs are .002 worse than the Diamondbacks. Do the Cubs want Turner? Would the Marlins make a reasonable swap? Or is there something else going on?