Tag:Jorge Cantu
Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:18 am
 

Rangers asked about Josh Johnson -- yes, really

Josh Johnson
OK, now the Rangers are just being ridiculous.

As if getting the best pitcher in the American League*, Cliff Lee, weren't enough, the high-flying Rangers reportedly took a flyer on acquiring the best pitcher in the National League*, Florida's Josh Johnson.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that in negotiating with the Marlins about Jorge Cantu, whom they got in a trade Thursday, there apparently was a conversation that went something like this:

Jon Daniels: "Say, Larry, did you get that bottle of tequila I sent over? Good. Did you have any yet? Oh. Well, uh, you should. It's really tasty, but you have to drink, like, a lot to really get the taste. Anyway, uh, crazy idea. What if we -- and this is just a thought -- were interested in taking one of your young pitchers off your hands?"

Larry Beinfest: "I'm listening. Who did you have in mind?"

Daniels: "Well, let's say, just for argument's sake ... (cough) Josh Johnson (cough)?"

Beinfest: "Uh ... are you being serious? Josh Johnson, 26 years old, under contract for four years, 10-3 record, 1.72 ERA? That Josh Johnson?"

Daniels: "Wait! Hear me out! For openers, you can have our three best prospects, and ..." (line goes dead)

Hey, you can't blame a guy for trying.

-- David Andriesen

*admittedly arguable, on both counts

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Posted on: July 29, 2010 9:42 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 3:46 am
 

Rangers open to adding 2B

Jon Daniels
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has had a great year, putting together a first-place team and then adding to it with Cliff Lee and Jorge Cantu despite financial constraints.

Well, Daniels might not be done. He indicated to the Dallas Morning News on Thursday that the groin strain suffered by All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler is going to keep him out until "mid- to late-August," and he's open to another trade to make sure the Rangers are covered at second.

Cantu, acquired from Florida on Thursday, has played second, but not with any regularity since 2006. The Rangers want him to stick with first base.

"We're still open-minded," Daniels said. "I think we can be a little more selective now. I don't think we have to do anything else. But if we can improve the club without cutting into our core, we'd be open to that. I don't think you are ever done."

The Rangers are currently playing Joaquin Arias and Andres Blanco at second. There are a few players thought to be available who can play second, including Dan Uggla (although he's still owed about $2.6 million, and you'd think he would have been packaged with Cantu if Texas was interested), Ty Wigginton and possibly Adam Kennedy and Ryan Theriot.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:20 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 8:26 pm
 

Signs point to slow deadline

Prince Fielder Thursday was a big day in trades, with Roy Oswalt, Jorge Cantu and Miguel Tejada, among others, on the move.

Monitoring the chatter in the baseball world, however, gives the indication that there might not be much more dealing to come.

"There's nothing really going on," general manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the Brewers' outlook. "I don't anticipate anything happening [before the Saturday deadline]. Things can change but that's the way it looks now. I don't have to trade players. I have to make sure anything we do makes absolute sense to do anything."

That's one of the main things driving -- or halting -- this trade season. Most of the teams with the attractive pieces don't really need to move them. There aren't the usual teams trying to unload salary ballast at all costs as they sink. The Brewers could trade Prince Fielder, but they don't have to. Ditto the Nationals with Adam Dunn. The Jays could move Jose Bautista, but he's also under team control and has Toronto fans buzzing.

Many of the big names -- Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Oswalt -- are now off the board. David DeJesus and Ben Sheets were knocked off by injuries.

The slate of potential buyers has gone down in the past two weeks. The Angels, Mets, Marlins and Rockies are taking a cold, hard look at the standings and realizing it doesn't make sense to mortgage the future on what's becoming an increasingly long shot. The Red Sox and Dodgers are potentially more aggressive but kind of in the same boat.

The days before the deadline are always filled with GMs expressing outrage at the hefty price tags being put on available players, hoping to force those prices down, but this year it really does seem like teams are taking a harder line because they have less pressure to sell. And teams have so much money invested in scouting and bonus money that they view prospects as high-value commodities rather than pawns. They are afraid to make lousy deals with young players.

There also is a trend toward making deals after the non-waiver deadline -- there's still a month left to trade after Saturday, just with different rules.

“Most of the guys available on July 31 are going to be available in August,” a National League GM told the New York Post.

That's not to say many of the names being thrown around this week won't be in different uniforms in the next 48 hours. Dunn probably will be traded, as will Ted Lilly, and the Blue Jays would be crazy not to trade Bautista when he's at peak value. But even more than most years, most of the talk will likely be for naught when it all shakes out.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:22 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 11:18 pm
 

Report: Rangers add key piece in Cantu

Jorge Cantu
Looks like the Rangers are getting their right-handed bat.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Marlins on Thursday agreed to send third baseman Jorge Cantu to Texas for right-handers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda. The deal had been rumored to be on the brink for a couple of days. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says via Twitter that the Marlins will pay $600,000 of the $2.18 million left on Cantu's contract. The Rockies and Giants had also been rumored to be pursuing him.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is saying the deal is not quite done, and as of this writing, Cantu is still playing in the Marlins' game against the Giants in San Francisco. It's customary for a player who is even close to being traded to be held out or removed from a game to guard against injury.

(UPDATE: Cantu was removed from the game in the eighth inning.)

Texas has a healthy 7 1/2-game lead in the American League West, but the Rangers feel like they might finally have a real championship contender on their hands and are trying to bolster any weak spots. Their biggest weak spot is at first base, where the departure of Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee deal left them with the seriously underperforming Chris Davis (.188, four RBI and no homers in 31 games). They've been trying to find a right-handed hitter to platoon with him.

Cantu has been primarily a third baseman in Florida but has played 238 career games at first and should have little problem adjusting. He also has played 218 games at second, and the Rangers have a need there right now until Ian Kinsler returns from the disabled list (groin strain).

Cantu is batting .259/.308/.408 with 10 homers and 54 RBI -- not overwhelming numbers but a definite upgrade from Davis. And it's quite an accomplishment by Texas GM Jon Daniels to get the Marlins, not exactly known for throwing money around, to cover part of Cantu's salary.

The prospects, Reed and Poveda, are both Double-A level pitchers, and Poveda, a starter, is on the disabled list after Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. Reed, a late-inning reliever, is 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 30 games for Double-A Frisco.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: So much for the idea of a left-right Davis-Cantu platoon at first. After Thursday night's game, the Rangers sent Davis to Triple-A to make room for Cantu on the roster.

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Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:15 am
 

Rockies looking to sell


It appears there will be no Rocktober this year, as the Rockies have stopped their pursuit of Florida's Jorge Cantu and have flipped their store's sign from "buyer" to "seller," according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal .

The Rockies have put right-hander Aaron Cook, first baseman/outfielder Brad Hawpe and left-handed reliever Joe Beimel on the trade block.

The Phillies have "limited" interest in Cook, Rosenthal tweets .

With the limited options -- and high prices -- for relievers, Beimel could be an attractive candidate for those who fall short with the Blue Jays' trio of relievers.

The Rockies are unlikely to move left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, infielder Melvin Mora and outfielder Ryan Spilborghs.

The Rockies' home series with the Pirates was seen as an indicator of which way the team would go leading up to Saturday's deadline, and dropping the first two games to the National League's worst team is hardly an encouraging sign.

Colorado has now lost eight games in a row and are 2-11 since the All-Star break. They're now 8 1//2 games behind the Padres in the NL West and also have the Giants and Dodgers ahead of them. The Rockies are six games out of the wild card, but have four teams ahead of them.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:40 pm
 

Cubs' Lee vetoed deal to Anaheim


Derrek Lee We'd heard before that the Cubs Derrek Lee wasn't interested in going anywhere at the trade deadline, but now we know he won't be headed anywhere until after the season. Lee invoked his 10-5 rights to block a trade to the Angels, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reports .

While it was an interesting discussion in a vacuum whether Lee would use his no-trade rights, the fact that he did -- and vetoed the trade to Southern California -- comes as a bit of a surprise.

The Angels have rumored to have interest in Lee ever since Kendry Morales suffered a season-ending celebration injury. Lee seemed a natural fit, he's a free agent after the season and the Cubs are out of the race. It also seemed too good to be a good match because Lee makes his offseason home in California, why wouldn't he want to head home and perhaps participate in a pennant race.

Lee wouldn't expound on his choice to Muskat, nor would Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who only confirmed her report.

With Lee out of the equation, it does make sense that the Angels are now shifting their focus to Prince Fielder. He'll be much more expensive, but if Lee's unavailable, it's either a lesser player such as Jorge Cantu or Ty Wigginton or go for bust, and that's Fielder or Adam Dunn.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 27, 2010 1:17 pm
 

Trade deadline profile: Jorge Cantu


Leading up to Saturday's trade deadline, the MLB Facts & Rumors team takes a look at the biggest names on the trade block. Today it's Florida's Jorge Cantu.

Jorge Cantu Career stats: .276/.321/.450 100 home runs, 458 RBI in parts of seven seasons
2010 stats: .260/.308/.410 10 home runs, 54 RBI
Contract status: Cantu signed a one-year deal worth $6 million in January, avoiding arbitration. He's a free agent after the season.

Why he's desirable
Cantu is known as an RBI machine, driving in 100 last season and 95 in 2008. He's not as much a home run hitter as he is a doubles guy. Last season he hit just 16 home runs, but still drove in 100 thanks to his 42 doubles. He has 25 doubles this season. Cantu can play third or first, although he's not very good defensively. He would also be valuable as a DH if an American League team is interested.

Why he's available
It's more than money with Cantu, he's struggled since his hot start. This month, he's hitting .225/.257/.282 with no homers and just four RBI. Chris Coghlan's injury could hurt the Marlines, who were considering moving Coghlan to third and calling up prospect Logan Morrison after moving Cantu.

Who is interested
The Rangers and Rockies are hot on Cantu's trail, with the Rangers possibly making a deal in the next couple of days, according to CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller. The Tigers could make a call after losing Brandon Inge, although the defensive dropoff from Inge to Cantu would be dramatic.

Expected return
Cantu will likely be a Type B free agent after the season, but it's unlikely the Marlins would offer him arbitration. A mid-line prospect and some cash should be enough for Cantu to find himself out of Florida.

What happens
The Rangers give up two minor leaguers, only one that's even a fringe prospect and platoon Cantu at first base with the left-handed hitting Chris Davis.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline targets -- Roy Oswalt

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Posted on: July 27, 2010 9:48 am
 

Coghlan latest to suffer celebration injury


Chris Coghlan First jumping into home plate was baseball's greatest danger and now shaving cream pies will be decried as the scourge of the sport.

The Marlins' Chris Coghlan is the latest big leaguer to land on the disabled list with a celebration-related injury, a torn meniscus that could see him miss six to eight weeks. Coghlan suffered the injury trying to smash a shaving-cream pie in the face of Wes Helms, who had a walk-off single on Sunday.

"When Wes hit the walk-off, I went to pie him in the face," Coghlan told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. "When I jumped, I landed wrong on my knee. That's how I got injured."

There had been speculation the Marlins would move Jorge Cantu before the trade deadline, move Coghlan from the outfield to third base and call up prospect Logan Morrison. Cantu may still go, but Morrison is coming up now to replace Coghlan on the roster.

After Kendry Morales hurt himself jumping into home plate, we heard scores of people saying they knew it was dangerous and was only a matter of time before someone got hurt celebrating a big homer. Someone, somewhere, will say the same about this, as ridiculous as it is.

Even Coghlan is perpetuating that silliness -- "As players we need to be a little more aware," Coghlan said. "It's a game of emotions, and emotions get the best of you."

We'll forgive him, because he's looking at possible surgery, but still it's pretty ridiculous to think delivering a shaving-cream pie is any more dangerous than standing in front of a projectile thrown at 100 mph or running as fast as possible and throwing yourself to the ground or running full-speed into a wall. And here I thought the shaving-cream pie's greatest danger was that it was cliche.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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