Looking for one more powerful bat to add to an already potent lineup, the Rangers will slide Cantu into the first base slot, where Chris Davis has been struggling with the bat. Described by one scout as "the least-known 100 RBI guy in the game"), Cantu was hitting .259 with 10 homers and 54 RBI in 96 games for the Marlins this season.
He's due roughly $2.1 million for the rest of 2010, and he is the third significant piece the first-place Rangers have added to what is increasingly looking like a team that is ready to win not just the AL West but, possibly, the AL pennant and beyond. Cantu's arrival follows that of ace Cliff Lee and catcher Bengie Molina.
Among other holdups in this deal, the Rangers and Marlins had to get approval from the Commissioner's Office because of the money owed Cantu. The Marlins will receive two Double-A pitching prospects, Evan Reed and Omar Poveda, according to sources.
The Rangers' 7 1/2-game lead over Oakland in the AL West heading into Thursday's games was the largest in the majors.
Florida, meanwhile, was fourth in the NL East, 8 1/2 games behind division leader Atlanta. The Marlins recently lost Chris Coghlan to the disabled list when he injured a knee while delivering a pie to the face of teammate Wes Helms while celebrating a last-inning victory.
Florida also recently recalled rookie Logan Morrison to play left field, the chain-reaction of which was going to send Coghlan and Helms to third base to replace Cantu after a deal.