The Miami Marlins have designated 23-year-old right-hander Jacob Turner for assignment, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Left-hander Brian Flynn has been recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, and will take Turner's place on Miami's active roster.
Turner's designation comes as quite a surprise to many, as the right-hander was considered to be one of the best young arms in baseball as recently as last year. Selected as the ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Detroit Tigers, Turner excelled in the minors, peaking as the 15th best prospect in the game according to Baseball Prospectus and 22nd per Baseball America prior to the 2012 season. He was dealt to Miami as the key return piece in the July 2012 deal that sent Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit.
What makes the Marlins' sudden dislike of Turner especially puzzling is that he isn't having that bad of a season. His 5.97 ERA is certainly nothing special, but his peripherals suggest a much better performance. In 78.1 innings, Turner has a 4.01 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, and 2.35 K/BB, and his .368 BABIP indicates that he has been the victim of some bad luck. He is also under club control through the 2018 season, and isn't arbitration eligible until after next season.
The Marlins' stock of young arms certainly plays a role in their willingness to get rid of Turner. Miami boasts an impressive group of hurlers that includes names such as Jose Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart, Andrew Heaney, Justin Nicolino, and 2014 second overall pick Tyler Kolek (albeit he is just 18).
Turner, who is out of options, has a good chance to be dealt, as teams at the top of the waiver order should be willing to give him a chance. The Chicago Cubs seem like a possible landing spot, and they have been known as a reclamation hot-spot of sorts in recent years (see Arrieta, Jake).
The 24-year-old Flynn made one appearance with the Marlins earlier this season, and has thrown 21 total innings at the major league level, posting a 8.14 ERA and 5.84 FIP, while striking out 18 and walking 14. In 21 starts at Triple-A this season, he has a 4.00 ERA, 6.2 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9. Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the ninth best prospect in the Marlins' system entering the season.