Free Agent Stock Watch: Jorge Cantu

When the Marlins traded Jorge Cantu to the Rangers before this year's July 31st deadline, it was a prime opportunity for Cantu to turn his season around. Playing for a postseason contender in a hitter-friendly park, the 28-year-old was in a good position to improve his stock with a productive stretch run. It's still possible that Cantu will come up with some timely hits in the playoffs for the Rangers, but so far, his time in Texas has been a major disappointment. In 75 plate appearances, Cantu has hit .206/.270/.265 and has yet to drive in a run.

Prior to the season, Cantu was coming off a two-year stretch in Florida in which he hit .283/.336/.462, averaged over 20 homers per season, and logged playing time at both corner infield positions. His performance earned him a $6MM contract for his final year of arbitration eligibility, but his discouraging 2010 campaign doesn't bode well for his impending free agency.

When teams consider Cantu this winter, one thing working in his favor is his history. This isn't the first time the infielder has had a letdown year following a successful one – in 2006, on the heels of a .286/.311/.497, 28-homer season for the Rays, Cantu hit just .249/.295/.404. His drop-off in OPS that season (.808 to .699) looks awfully similar to his decline from 2009 to 2010 (.788 to .691). Cantu rebounded nicely after signing with the Marlins, and he's still young enough that he could do so again.

Even if a club takes a chance on Cantu's ability to bounce back though, it's hard to imagine him landing more than a short-term deal. The first base market is flush with alternatives, and Cantu has never been a strong defensive third baseman, according to UZR. Cantu's best option may be signing an affordable one-year deal in the hopes that he can rebuild his value and ink a long-term contract next winter, entering his age-30 season.


10 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Jorge Cantu Leave a Reply

  1. hawkny1 5 years ago

    Obviously, Cantu tried to hard to impress his new employers. Once settled in, where ever, he will return to his former self with the bat..

  2. Any chance Cantu could still play 2nd like in his Tampa days?

  3. Any chance Cantu could still play 2nd like in his Tampa days?

  4. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Went down latter half of last year also.

    As to playing 2nd? Scary thought. He was..Adequate.. At 3B, not good and fair at 1B. Footwork seems to be slow, so imagine his range would not be what it was and can’t recall his 2B play from the Rays days..

  5. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Went down latter half of last year also.

    As to playing 2nd? Scary thought. He was..Adequate.. At 3B, not good and fair at 1B. Footwork seems to be slow, so imagine his range would not be what it was and can’t recall his 2B play from the Rays days..

  6. The_BiRDS 5 years ago

    Cards could use him at 2nd or 3rd

  7. The_BiRDS 5 years ago

    Cards could use him at 2nd or 3rd

  8. 89Orioles 5 years ago

    i was petitioning hard for Cantu to join the Orioles, and wouldnt mind seeing him in an O’s uniform still. i wonder though why he has only been a part timer in texas? i havent seen him play this year, but have his skills eroded so badly that his track record meant nothing? any insights?

  9. 89Orioles 5 years ago

    i was petitioning hard for Cantu to join the Orioles, and wouldnt mind seeing him in an O’s uniform still. i wonder though why he has only been a part timer in texas? i havent seen him play this year, but have his skills eroded so badly that his track record meant nothing? any insights?

  10. WrigleyTerror37 5 years ago

    Maybe if the cubs find a rookie to platton with him

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