Former 117 RBI man Jorge Cantu doesn’t view himself as a Triple A player, and has asked for a trade. Unfortunately for him that request carries no weight. The Devil Rays have decided to again sacrifice defense at second base, but this time at the hands of B.J. Upton. At the least, this pleases fantasy baseball geeks.
Cantu, who I should mention once drove in 117 runs, saw his slugging slip from .497 to .404 last year. He played in the WBC for Mexico and things went downhill from there. He fouled a ball off his foot and broke a bone, then tried to play through it. He returned in June, but his neck started bothering him in August after a collision.
I think Cantu is proof that a lot of guys can drive in 100 runs, and that doesn’t mean much by itself. If he’d driven in 87 that year we’d look at him differently as a player. Even 90 runs seems to add some sort of credibility. The worst SLG for a 100 RBI season was when Bill Brubaker slugged .384 with 6 HR and 102 RBIs for the 1936 Pirates, by the way. Joe Carter has two 100 RBI seasons where he slugged under .400, an exclusive honor.
As far as the market for Cantu…a corner guy with no plate discipline, no defensive abilities, and decent pop is not that rare. Think Josh Phelps.