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Tag:Jorge Cantu
Posted on: July 26, 2010 3:00 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 4:14 pm
 

Marlins 'confused' at deadline


Are the Marlins -- 8 games back  of the Braves in the National League East and 6 1/2 games back in the wild card -- in or out at the trade deadline?

On one hand, they're just 6 1/2 games back in the wild card, but they're also behind six teams for that spot, including two in their own division, the Phillies and Mets.

What to do, buy or sell? Apparently the Marlins are "confused," according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports .

The Marlins have a seven-game trip out west leading up to the deadline, with four games in San Francisco and then to San Diego, the wild card and NL West leaders, respectively.

Despite the team's confusion, they're still talking to the Rangers about Jorge Cantu. The team could call up Logan Morrison and play him in the outfield. Morrison, who has been moved from first base to left field, is hitting .306/.424/.485 at Triple-A New Orleans. If the team calls up Morrison, Chris Coghlan will be moved to third base.

The Rangers are the latest team that is supposedly interest in Cantu, along with the Rockies and Giants.

While Cantu is expendable, the true barometer of how the Marlins feel about their chances will be Cody Ross. If the team thinks they can win, they'll keep him and then likely non-tender the arbitration-eligible outfielder after the season. If they think they're out of it, they'll get something for him in a trade. Ross, 29, is making $4.5 million this season. He is hitting .273/.330/.402 with eight home runs and 38 RBI.

The Red Sox and Braves are reportedly interest in Ross. If the Marlins do think they have a shot, it's unlikely they'd send Ross to a divisional rival.

UPDATE: CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller reports the Rangers and Marlins are talking and if a deal gets done it will likely be in the next day or two.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 25, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2010 2:57 pm
 

Rangers, Rockies chasing Cantu

Jorge Cantu Interest in the Marlins' Jorge Cantu is heating up, with the Rangers making a major push for the third baseman, reports MLB.com's T.R Sullivan.

The Rangers have been jonesing for a right-handed bat that can play first base, and Cantu's added bonus of being able to play third can't hurt.

The Rockies are also in on Cantu as they seek to upgrade their own first-base situation. Colorado has gotten the second half off to a poor start, but with Troy Tulowitzki close to returning, could take off shortly. The Denver Post 's Troy Renck also notes that the Rockies have their eye on Cleveland's Jhonny Peralta. Perhaps a consolation prize if they lose out on Cantu or the highly sought-after Ty Wigginton?

Cantu has been one of the Marlins' best bats the last few years but has tailed off somewhat in 2010, cobbling together a total line of .260/.309/.412. Even allowing for facing just left-handed pitchers -- as Cantu would likely do most of the time in Texas in a timeshare with Chris Davis -- Cantu doesn't have an overwhelming case there as his total line doesn't have significant platoon splits. Also hurting him is the fact that the only month he's been a strong hitter is April -- he's gotten progressively worse as the season moves on.

However, the Fish may not want Cantu to be traded. They love the way he drives in runs even as he struggles, and with Florida's recent strong play, suddenly find themselves legitimately in the hunt for the NL East division crown. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports this, as well as the fact the club doesn't feel top prospect Logan Morrison could adequately replace Cantu in the lineup.

A more pressing question is how Morrison would fit into the defense. Cantu has primarily played third base as Gaby Sanchez has first base sewn up. Morrison is a natural first baseman who is collecting time in left field to boost his versatility . Florida could shift left-fielder Chris Coghlan -- a natural second baseman -- to third, a position many feel he could play.

However, is the team willing to have Coghlan learn third on the fly? Even given his history as a second baseman he has just one game to his credit at the keystone position in his two-year big-league career.

No, if Cantu is traded, one would think the new starter at third base would be -- please avert your eyes -- Emilio Bonifacio. They could ask Dan Uggla to move to third, a position linked to Uggla for quite a few years. However, indications are that Uggla has no interest in such a move and given the Fish are considering trying to extend Uggla's deal, upsetting the slugger is not the right move at the time.

If the Marlins were rebuilding, it would be easier to move Cantu and not worry about who plays third for the rest of the year. Now that the team is strongly considering buying, however, a deal gets that much more complicated. At this point, it's difficult to see Cantu, Uggla and even Cody Ross being shipped out.

Cantu has $2 million of his salary remaining on the year which is $2 million too many for the financially-strapped Rangers. However, a judge in the bankruptcy court case against Texas said he could force MLB to extend the line of credit to the Rangers, allowing the club to add another piece. Cantu is eligible for free agency after the year.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 20, 2010 10:24 pm
 

Rangers interested in Helms

Wes Helms The Rangers are unable to take on salary, but that's not stopping them in their yearlong hunt to find a right-handed first baseman.

"For quite some time, we have been looking for a right-handed complement," assistant general manager Thad Levine told MLB.com. "That hasn't changed as a piece we'd like to add."

The Rangers thought they had that man in Mike Lowell in the offseason before the trade had to be scrapped. They've also been linked to Ty Wigginton and Jorge Cantu. A new name can be added to the list: Wes Helms.

The Marlins' backup infielder has also drawn interest from the Yankees.

The Rangers were able to acquire Bengie Molina and Cliff Lee by having the original teams toss in salary to cover, but the club had to surrender two of its better prospects in order to make it happen.

Will they be willing to empty their farm system yet again for a top-flight player? That will be necessary for someone like Cantu -- and even Lowell and Helms won't come cheap. The Rangers may have to get creative to find a solution to platoon with Chris Davis.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:04 pm
 

Trade deadline seller: Florida Marlins

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Dan Uggla It's the time of the year where the Marlins get rid of future payroll considerations. The Marlins are only two games below .500 after their current three-game winning streak, but still trail three teams in the NL East and six teams in the wild-card race. Many other organizations may see this as a chance to make a move, but not the Marlins.

Record: 45-47, nine games out of the NL East, three behind third-place Philadelphia and three-and-a-half behind the second-place Mets. Six games back in the wild card.
President of Baseball Operations:  Larry Beinfest
Expectations: None. Really, how many people would notice if the Marlins moved from South Florida? If anything, the Marlins have more of an eye on 2012 when their new stadium opens.
Payroll status: The Marlins had an opening day payroll of more than $47 million, but just $18.75 million tied up in 2011.

What they have to offer

Dan Uggla (.277/.364/.467) is a free agent after the 2011 season, but the Marlins know they can get more for him now rather than next July. He's been mentioned as a match for the Rockies -- and he'd do great at Coors Field, but the Marlins may need to hang on to him…. he's no prize defensively, but he can flat rake.

It also makes financial sense for the Marlins to hold on to Uggla. The Marlins are the only team in the majors with a salary floor, because of an agreement they reached without the players union in January. Josh Johnson is slated to make $7.5 million in 2011 and with another chunk of money going to Uggla -- who is making $7.8 this season and is arbitration eligible -- the Marlins could satisfy their part of the agreement with the union without overpaying for a player on the free-agent market.

That could be bad news for not only the Rockies, but also the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Braves and Phillies, who have been rumored to have interest in Uggla. He will likely get dealt by the deadline -- next year's deadline.

So who may get dealt?

Jorge Cantu (.261/.311/.417) has cooled since his white-hot start to the season, but is still a proven RBI producer, Cantu has 53 RBI so far this season. He's played third and first base this year, but is a better fit for an American League team looking for help at the DH spot. A free agent after the season and owed the rest of his $6 million salary for 2010, he could be a bargain for teams -- like the Angels or White Sox -- not looking to spend what it takes for a guy like Adam Dunn or Derrek Lee. He'd also be a nice piece for the Yankees and could certainly provide some pop off the bench.

Wes Helms (.241/.296/.388) is an option for teams wanting some of what Cantu provides without the price tag. Helms is making less than $1 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He'd be a rental player, but it's cheap rent and won't upset a clubhouse or make anyone nervous about their future with the team. Like Cantu, he can play first, third or DH.

Cody Ross Cody Ross (.280/.332/.408) is one of the more attractive outfielders on the market. He's arbitration eligible at the end of the season and making just $4.45 million this year. He'll get a good raise for 2011. With Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, the Marlins could part with the 29-year old Ross. The Red Sox and Yankees reportedly have had preliminary discussions with the Marlins about Ross. The Braves are also interested.

Leo Nunez (3-2, 2.79 ERA, 22 saves) is attractive to any team looking for relief pitching, which is basically any team that considers itself still in the race. Relief pitching is scarce and expensive near the deadline, which makes Nunez more valuable. He's making just $2 million this year and is arbitration eligible after the season.

Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.66) is under team control for two more seasons, which makes him attractive to both the Marlins and suitors. He's making $3.8 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. He's been decent, but should receive a budget-busting raise in the offseason. Some reports have said he's available and others say the Marlins want to keep him.

Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.10) is a free agent after the season, but he's very cheap for the Marlins, despite his $10 million pricetag for this season. The Tigers are paying $9.6 million of his salary.

What they want in return?

The Marlins feel pretty good about their future outfield, with Stanton, Maybin and Morrison and if Ross is moved, expect Coghlan to move to third base. Rookie first baseman Gabby Sanchez is playing well and the shortstop spot is more than ably handled, so the team will likely be looking for arms in return or maybe a catching prospect -- really, not that much different than what every team wants.

Predictions:
Uggla stays put and Helms is dealt to the Yankees. Cantu's name pops up a couple of places, but he's not moved. The asking price is too high for Ross and the team is stuck with him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 4, 2010 6:00 pm
 

Marlins beginning to think about selling

Dan Uggla The Florida Marlins are slipping out of contention and may be making some players available. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com notes that except for Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, any player who is eligible for arbitration and free agency can be available.

Frisaro notes that such players include Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross and Dan Uggla.

Cantu, who nailed 100 RBI exactly last year, is a free agent after the season who can play first and third. He's hitting .265/.318/.434 on the year and could grab the attention of the Texas Rangers. A Type B free agent, Cantu would give the Rangers a compensatory draft pick if he left via free agency -- but only if Texas offered arbitration. Unless Cantu picks it back up to the 25-home run power he once displayed, however, the Rangers would certainly pass as he could command over $10 million in arbitration.

Nolasco is just 27 and has been unlucky for the second year in a row, flashing an ERA around 5 when his peripherals indicate that his ERA should be a full run lower, if not more. The Marlins certainly know this and won't be giving Nolasco away for pennies on the dollar -- teams will have to pay for how well Nolasco has pitched, not how well his games have turned out. For this reason, it's unlikely that any team will match up with Florida. Nolasco has one year of arbitration left.

Ross is an intriguing bat who is serviceable against right-handers and completely annilihates lefties. Boston has been linked to him for quite a while now, but many teams would love to have Ross start or in a luxurious position as a fourth outfielder. He has an extra year of arbitration before he can become a free agent. Even though the Red Sox have been linked to Ross before, it's unclear if there is a fit -- Darnell McDonald can be considered a poor man's Cody Ross and despite the tattered outfield, Boston has more pressing needs.

Dan Uggla (pictured), making $8 million in his final year of free agency, could be attractive to teams in need of a second- or third-baseman. That means Boston, Colorado and Philadelphia will inevitably be linked to the two. Of the three, the Phillies make the most sense because they have the longest-term need (Chase Utley will miss all of July and August at the very least) and the most money available what with Boston bumping up against the luxury tax. Other teams in need of a bat, such as the Rangers, will certainly inquire.

The best thing for all teams with multiple needs is for Florida to continue falling out of contention. The Marlins would then enter a semi-rebuilding phase and there would be plenty available to suit near every team's need. In addition to the four names above, Frisaro notes that pinch-hitter Wes Helms and back-of-the-rotation starter Nate Robertson would be available. There are certainly other candidates to be moved as well. Despite a tattered bullpen, closer Leo Nunez and relievers Clay Hensley and Brian Sanches would draw interest.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 8, 2010 10:34 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:30 am
 

Stanton finishes 3 for 5


Marlins rookie Mike Stanton is known for his power, but he showed his speed in his big-league debut on Tuesday. Stanton had three hits, including two infield singles, the second of which came off Phillies closer Brad Lidge with two on and two outs and the Marlins down two in the ninth.

Stanton kept the Marlins alive with a grounder up the middle that hit Lidge's glove, fielded by Chase Utley who flipped it to Wilson Valdez to try to force Cody Ross at second, but Ross was called safe. It appeared second base umpire Brian Gorman missed the call, and it was ruled an infield single for Stanton, loading the bases for Ronny Paulino.

However, Paulino popped up to Utley to end the game and give Lidge his second save since returning to the Phillies a week ago and third overall.

Hanley Ramierez led off the inning with a single before Lidge got Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla to go down swinging and Ross walked to bring up Stanton.

Stanton went 3 for 5 in his debut with three singles and a strikeout. Stanton had 21 homers at Double-A Jacksonville and slugged .726.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans





 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com