MLB Trades: Detroit Tigers' Trade for Sanchez, Infante Pressures White Sox

James Kries@@JKriesContributor IJuly 23, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 22: Anibal Sanchez #19 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Monday's trade, which brought pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers, puts further pressure on Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams to make a move before the MLB trade deadline.

The White Sox are reeling after falling out of first place Sunday, following a three-game sweep at the hands of the division-leading Tigers.

Detroit's trade for the two veteran Miami Marlins puts the White Sox in a precarious position. Should the team continue to try and bolster their roster through trades, or should they hold tight and hope the team ends their current slump? The White Sox have lost their last five games, and seven of their last 10 as of Sunday night.

Williams has been active in the run-up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He acquired third baseman Kevin Youkilis in late June from the Boston Red Sox and, just this past Saturday, the White Sox traded the Houston Astros for veteran reliever Brett Myers.

If the White Sox continue their downward spiral, will the team put an end to their summer shopping spree, and possibly sell off some of their own pieces? Time is running out before the deadline, and the next week is critical for the White Sox.

A continued losing skid will likely put an end to their playoff hopes and, if the Tigers run out to a larger lead in the division, look for the dreaded rebuilding talk to start up again.

For a team with so much promise and momentum after the All-Star break, the White Sox have suffered a series of blows in the last week. After losing three of four in Boston, including a heart-wrenching walk-off homer by Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross in the series finale, the White Sox were swept by the Tigers, ending their nearly month-long run atop the AL Central.

The news of the Tigers' trade with the Marlins has to have the White Sox front office scurrying to either make a deadline deal or reassess the team's immediate future.

What are the Tigers getting with Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante?

Sanchez is a solid right-handed stater who has a fine career 7.7 strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio. In the last two seasons with the Marlins, Sanchez has an 8.8 K/9 ratio. In seven seasons in the National League, Sanchez has posted a solid 3.75 earned run average.

While Sanchez can move right into the starting rotation for the Tigers, the addition of Omar Infante will help solidify the right side of the Detroit infield.

Infante, who broke into the majors with Detroit in 2002, is a steady utility player who can help out at multiple positions. Infante will hold down second for the Tigers, and brings with him an average bat with a career slash line of .276/.318/.397. Infante is a solid fielder and should help shore up the Tigers' mediocre defense.

While both players only have one All-Star appearance in 18 years (Infante in 2010), they are both solid veterans who will help the Tigers during a division race—and possibly a postseason run.

Whether or not Kenny Williams and the White Sox counter the Tigers' deal in the next week remains to be seen, and the White Sox still have an uphill battle to catch the surging Tigers. The Tigers went on a monster run to finish the 2011 season, winning 30 of their last 40 games and trouncing the Indians and White Sox in the AL Central.

With still a week left for teams to make trades, and some big names changing uniforms, it will be interesting to see if the White Sox make another deal, stand pat or wave the white flag.