Sift through the archives and you find actual evidence of Tigers first-round draft picks, a couple of whom stepped into the Tigers clubhouse Monday.

Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello were first-rounders. So, too, was Jacob Turner, who in 2009 became the last true first-round pick by a Tigers team that in June will have its first top-30 selection in four years after having lost its first-rounders the past three seasons as the penalty for signing free agents Jose Valverde, Victor Martinez, and Prince Fielder.

Tigers scouts who this month begin crashing college and high school fields also should appreciate last July's trade with the Marlins that sent Turner and two other Tigers prospects (Rob Brantly, Brian Flynn) to the Marlins in a swap for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.

That trade is part of big league history. Under the new owners-players contract, Detroit and Miami became the first two big league teams ever to trade draft picks.

The Tigers' 2013 second selection moved up 35 spots, from 73rd to 38th, as the draft order today stands.

For a team that didn't pick until No. 91 last year, the Tigers now will draft 21st, 38th, and 94th through the draft's first three rounds when it begins June 6. The Tigers also should gain about $2 million extra in bonus-pool money allocated to teams based upon the number of early-round picks they own.

"Now, with that money, we've got more money to be more creative," Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager, said Sunday as he and his staff settled in at Tigertown's offices for today's inaugural spring-training workout.

The Tigers don't regret the years of mostly sterling service they received from Valverde during his three seasons as Detroit's closer.

They loved Martinez's batting punch during 2011 and expect him to resume his old ways following a year on the shelf because of knee surgery.

And no one complained last season as Fielder arrived to keep Miguel Cabrera from what might have been a season-long stroll to first base courtesy of intentional walks.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130212/SPORTS0104/302120338#ixzz2KhDuTGsX