Braves Not Pursuing Jorge Cantu

6:39pm: Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed that the Braves discussed Cantu, but they have decided not to pursue him. His source says they only wanted him for a bench role and to mainly backup rookie Freddie Freeman at first base (Twitter links).

12:31pm: The Padres and Braves appear to be the front-runners to land Jorge Cantu, writes Stephen Goff of the Houston Astros Examiner. In addition to San Diego and Atlanta, Cleveland remains a potential destination for the infielder.

Cantu, who turns 29 next weekend, expressed some disappointment that he wasn't able to work out a deal with his hometown Astros, but is optimistic about securing a contract with another team:

"We've been talking to Atlanta, Houston, San Diego and Cleveland," Cantu said. "We were really trying with Houston, but talks have just ceased with them, which is unfortunate…. Still, San Diego is talking a lot. I like San Diego. They have a winning ballclub and had a great pitching staff last year. I wouldn't mind going over there."

The Rockies, Mariners, and Diamondbacks have also been linked to Cantu at various times this offseason, though it's unclear if they still have any interest.

91 Responses to Braves Not Pursuing Jorge Cantu Leave a Reply

  1. bosoque 5 years ago

    That’s just what the Braves need, a hit or miss 3B/1B to play….umm…

  2. Hope its not more than a minor league deal, he totally melted with the Rangers…

  3. Getting Cantu would allow Prado to stay in LF if Chipper were to miss any time.

    • *When Chipper misses time.

    • Jeff 5 years ago

      Prado shouldn’t stay in LF in that case, he should move to 3B. He’s their best 3B option really already. You just can’t bench Chipper. (and Chipper’s still a productive OBP guy/ decent 3B when healthy, even if he isn’t Chipper anymore)

      If Chipper went down, I’d move Prado to 3B, and run a Hinske/Mather platoon in LF, then find something at the deadline. You can always bring Conrad back up as a PH.

      The Braves do have one legit need left, though it’s not a huge one- and this is where money should be spent instead- A-Gon insurance for an injury. This is why I wanted Hairston. I don’t think Diory or Hicks. Right now I’d consider bringing Pastornicky up from the minors should something happen.

  4. Get it done Jed. Cantu would be very solid spelling Headley and Hawpe on occasion. I do believe the Padres prefer a true back up third baseman.

    • MitchNW 5 years ago

      It would be a VERY smart move for the Padres. It would provide depth at 3B for Headley, depth at 1B for Hawpe and depth in the OF because you can move Hawpe out there when double-switches and injuries arise.

  5. BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

    I honestly dont understand why the braves would need him.. If chipper misses time, Prado goes in, if Freeman goes down Hinske goes in. Mather goes left.. Hm..

    • $3866193 5 years ago

      It’s all about depth. Prado dealt with injuries last year, too. The scenario you described is fine, but when even one of those players has an injury, then they’re pulling up a kid from AAA who isn’t ready or (god forbid) using Brooks Conrad in the field.

      Hpoefully Cantu comes infinitely cheaper than his $6MM 2010 salary.

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

        He should simce he didn’t do so hot in Texas.

    • bobrewer 5 years ago

      Prado’s already in. He can move from LF to third, but who’d take over in left?

      Maybe a guy like Cantu is the answer. BJH is awfully generous in his projections, giving Cantu .270/.320/.446. For numbers like that, I’d be okay getting him for cheap.

      But what we really need is a guy to take over in LF, so Prado can fill in at third when Chipper is out.

      • Brad426 5 years ago

        Hinske or Mather could take over in LF if Prado had to move down to 3B.

  6. AtlantaBraves2210 5 years ago

    I was wanting Scott Hairston or a reunion with A. Jones, Cantu isnt bad but i thought the Braves were going after a backup CF. I really want Schafer to have turned it around but their is no reason to believe he has. Wren must really believe in him.

    • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

      I thought it was either that or backup SS/2B. I wasn’t expecting a backup corner infielder. Even though i thought we already had like 2.

      • Brad426 5 years ago

        Agreed. Who plays SS if Gonzalez gets hurt?

        • Brandon Hicks or Diory Hernandez, I’d imagine.

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            But you are missing the point. The bench is only 5 men deep, and if you have Ross, Hinske, Mather, Cantu, and Hicks/Hernandez you have no back-up CF (that you want to play there, anyway). And if you have Ross, Hinske, Mather, Cantu, and Shafer you have no back-up SS.

          • I know most assume Mather’s spot on the roster is assured, but he will likely be cut with a terrible spring(which is definitely possible).

            Let’s say the bench is Ross, Hicks/Hernandez, Hinske, Mather/Young Cantu……acceptable? Then you have someone to backup SS(Hicks or Hernandez), CF(Mather or Young), and 3B(Cantu)

            And Wren is a fool if he starts the season with Schafer on the roster, the guy needs some regular PA’s.

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            That is an acceptable bench to me… I will sign off on that. The reason, though, that most people assume Mather will be assured a spot is because he’s out of options and it seems odd that Wren would even claim him off waivers if he wasn’t planning on keeping him. I would rather see Cantu and Hinske as the PH/corner guys than Mather and Hinske, though.

          • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

            Mather can play center.

          • Brad426 5 years ago


          • When you’ve got garbage starting in CF, does it really matter if the backup can only “sorta” play CF? Ever since Andruw hit his wall or whatever happened there, the Braves have basically been running a clinic on how to fail in CF (and the OF in general really). At this point, I’d be ecstatic to have someone who can “sorta” play CF.

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            Yeah, I said basically the same thing elsewhere in the post.

  7. yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

    I would love for the Yankees to get in the mix. Cantu is a significant upgrade over Ramiro Pena as a utility guy and would give them a much deeper bench. On a day when any infielder needs a day of I think Cantu subbing makes a better team than Pena or Nunex subbing. It would allow the Yankees to trade Nunez for the right return as well, which I do think will happen the first time there is an injury or at the deadline. Tex is durable but the Yankees dont have a legit backup first baseman either. Miranda was insurance and the backup last year and he is gone having been traded to Arizona. The Yankees have nobody able to spell Tex aside from Swisher and his spot as the starting rightfielder makes him less than the best option as a backup. Cantu has pop and could get 300-400 ab’s as the backup third, first and second baseman, spelling Jeter at short and as an occassional DH and pinch hitter. He would also be a very nice option to pinch hit off the bench. This and a shot to win would make NY appealing for him. The Yankees still have money to spend and Cantu is a player that represents a significant upgrade over the guys they have as insurance right now.

    • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

      The Yankees have your whole lineup and most of your bench who can hit 30 homers a year. You don’t need anyone else. Hell, I could play for the Yankees and hit 30 homers in that park..

      • yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

        Just stop. Gardner, Martin, and Jeter are not hitting close to 30 home runs and never have. Posada is about finished and Cano has never hit 30 in a season and niether has Swisher. I think Granderson did it once. Jones is a shell of what he once was and there is no way Pena or Nunez will ever hit close to 20 let alone 30 home runs. The bench at this point is Cervelli who essentially played full time and did not hit a homerun, Jones, Pena and Nunez. This team is not deep at the bench at this time and they need to improve in this area.

        • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

          Without Cantu, the Yankees will probably make another postseason run.

          • yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

            And without him so will the Braves. He would make both much better and give them a better chance to win it all.

          • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

            I guess you didn’t see my comment above. I questioned the need for him.

        • While I agree that saying every member of the Yanks is poised for 30+ HR is silly hype, Swisher *has* hit 30 before (35 in 2006) and 29 twice, including last year.

          • yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

            You got me- I forgot about the best year in Oakland. When you watch Swisher everyday you get to see that you have to ignore his numbers and he is not as good as they may lead you to believe. We agree on the point though and the Yankees dont have power at every position- especially off the bench. My initial point was not just brainstorming they inquired on Keppinger to upgrade the bench and I think his injury killed the deal. I think Cantu helps both teams but I think he could really really improve the Yankees. Pena and Kevin Russo should not play in the major leagues Miranda is gone and he was a DH option as well as the closest they had to a backup first baseman.

          • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

            And btw, it was sarcasm. I know not all of em’ can hit 30. It was sarcasm. SARCASM!

          • Nah, I get that.

  8. Cantu not only could help out at 3B if or when >_> Chipper gets hurt, but could spell Freeman against some tough lefties. Not only that Cantu would be a nice right hand bat off the bench, basically more depth on the bench.

  9. BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

    Yes, but who would he replace on the roster?

  10. BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

    They would put Diory in. Which is why i’d rather have someone like Jeff Keppinger. Cause Diory can’t hit.

    • yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

      But Keppinger is injured and wont be ready for opening day. Houston also wants alot for him. Any team is better with Cantu at a cost of just money rather than meeting Houston’s asking price which has been described as ridiculous.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Diory sure hasn’t well with the Braves, but it is a small sample size of 103 PA. His minor league numbers are somewhat compelling and he is a decent, versatile defender.

      Edit: ^ HIT well… he hasn’t hit well with the Braves.

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

        He can actually hit for average in the minors. He’s nothing more than a AAAA player.

        • Brad426 5 years ago

          Fun stat: Alex Gonzalez’s career AAA OPS: .759
          Diory Hernandez’s career AAA OPS: .742

          • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

            Yah, but in the majors hes sucked it up. Hence the “He’s nothing more than a AAAA player.”

          • Brad426 5 years ago

            Again, in a very small sample size of 103 plate appearances. I doubt he will ever be considered a GOOD offensive player, but I think he has the potential to be an acceptable hitting middle infielder. I’d be interested to see what some other SS’s stats looked like after their first 100 PA.

  11. There’s still a roster spot left. Once Wagner officially retires, that spot is going to be vacated.

    • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

      He hasn’t retired yet?! DX

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Wagner’s spot will be filled by a pitcher (I mean unless Fredi decides to go all AL and carry just 11 pitchers). The typical NL configuration of 7 relievers and 5 bench players leaves no chair for Cantu, Shafer, or Diory Hernandez. Only 2 more guys can join Ross, Hinske, and Mather (assuming they don’t just release Mather, I mean).

  12. He apparently filed the papers a week ago, but it’s not official yet.

  13. roberty 5 years ago

    Hinske is a horrible left fielder and Mather is an unproven quantity. Relying on Prado to be the backup for so many positions gives the Braves a very thin bench.

    • The Braves aren’t really relying on Prado to backup anywhere. If/when Chipper goes down, yeah he’s likely the full-time 3B(unless the Braves do go after a corner infielder). I’m confident he’s not gonna have to backup SS…..the Braves have options.

      • roberty 5 years ago

        Prado is currently the primary backup at first, second and third base. Not really an ideal situation, considering the lack of production we are likely to get from McLouth and whoever our backup outfielder is. The Braves need a right handed insurance bat, I would prefer someone who could handle center field, but Andruw Jones is off the market and third base is our most likely hole next year.

  14. roberty 5 years ago

    Years ago I was checking out the Braves AAA roster to see if they had another shortstop to replace Diory as our backup. I noticed one players stats stuck out as very solid. As it turns out, they turned out to belonged to Diory Hernandez.

    • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

      I’d rather have Lipka than Diory.

      • roberty 5 years ago

        Everyone would. But Lipka is years away.

      • Bo 5 years ago

        Lipka is gonna move to CF. Salcedo and Pastornicky are where Frank Wren is putting his chips for SS.

  15. Although a bit older, I’ve actually wanted to see Cantu in a Braves Uni since his days with Rays. I think he could definitely be a key piece for the 2011 season if he were signed.

  16. Guest 5 years ago

    as long as it’s cheap, I like the potential signing for us.

  17. Wandering_Brave_Fan 5 years ago

    Cantu is no longer a serviceable 3rd baseman, he can’t play the outfield and we have Hinske and Mather already on board who can do what he does BETTER. He’s not a dependable bat either. Signing Cantu would be a another wasted roster spot and salary. Looks like Frank is shopping at the the scrap yard again.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      He started 86 games at 3B last year. And he never HAS played the OF, but you could jam a broomstick with a glove on the end into the ground and have a better LF than the Braves have had with garret Anderson and Melky. And I’m not sure I agree that Mather can do anything better than Cantu… I mean, maybe he can and will, but he never has.

      • Wandering_Brave_Fan 5 years ago

        His fielding percentage at 3rd base has never been above .937 and usually resides below .920. He’s a better first baseman admittedly but that’s not likely where he’d be used. Since Martin can play 1st or third we are far better off signing a good outfielder like Podsednick or if we wanted a sure handed guy at third and don’t care if he hits Pedro Feliz.

        • Brad426 5 years ago

          Busting out fielding percentage on me. Going old school, huh? I will make your own argument but better… his -6.8, -6.3, and -8.9 UZR over the past 3 yearsvsure suggest you wouldn’t want his to have to play a lot of 3B, but I still disagree that he isn’t “serviceable” as 3B. He still managed to be a positive WAR player despite his poor defense. But I will agree that I would much rather see the Braves sign a legitimate defensive OF and stand pat with the rest of the bench.

          • Wandering_Brave_Fan 5 years ago

            OK I won’t use Rtot or any other numbers. He’s no better at third than Conrad and Conrad is better off bench. We do agree he’s not a priority sign .. Good Night :-)

    • coolstorybro222 5 years ago

      Hinske played third base once, and I barely remember when he did

      • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

        They consider him a corner infield/outfield backup. I would put him as the extreme backup 3rd baseman.

        • coolstorybro222 5 years ago

          He doesn’t play third base. He never has. He played it his rookie season, and that was pretty much it.

  18. padresfuture 5 years ago

    The Padres have put together a respectable lineup, but seriously lack depth behind it. If Headley’s drop in production the second half of the season is in fact related to fatigue, then signing Cantu to back up Headley and provide infield depth would be a great move.

  19. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    Unlike the other braves fans on here, I would be fine with the signing because it’s a depth move, and he would be one of the better utility guys we’ve had recently *coughGregnorton*cough*

    • BaseballLogic_Braves 5 years ago

      Norton was terrible. But I just don’t see the need for Cantu. Knowing Wren he’ll keep Conrad in the majors.

      • Is that a criticism? Conrad was one of the best pinch hitters in the game last year, him starting in the playoffs was a combination of injuries and Bobby Cox losing his mind. Diory Hernandez was placed on the postseason roster SOLELY for his defense, yet Bobby wouldn’t even take Conrad out in the 9th after finally taking a one-run lead in game 3…….All of that is on Mr. Cox.

        • coolstorybro222 5 years ago

          Actually it was both their fault. One for Bobby not making the right decision and two for Conrad choking worse than Bill Buckner

  20. GovClintonTyree 5 years ago

    If the Braves sign Cantu, the bench would be Ross, Hinske, Cantu, Hernandez/Hicks/Lucas and Mather/Young/Schafer. Prado wouldn’t play much third so the at bats in left field would evaporate. They’d need a backup SS and a backup CF. Lucas, the SS we got from KC, had some nice numbers at Omaha. Mather would have a leg up on Young/Schafer because he’s RH and has power, but I honestly don’t know how well he plays CF. But if the Braves sign Cantu then Mather must play CF to make the club.

    • Bo 5 years ago

      It sounds to me like Cantu would be a replacement for Mather. When they signed Mather, his role was Freeman’s backup. We don’t need two backups at first, especially when Hinske and Prado can also play first.

      That said, we need a reserve CF on the bench, which in my opinion should be Young.

  21. braves808 5 years ago

    Cantu is going to sign with the Braves for a cheap, one year deal. The only reason why Cantu is linked with Atlanta is because we have two ex-marlins, Uggla and Freddi. I would like this signing because Cantu is a good player, don’t know what happened to him in Florida but he’s a good backup, not the best defense, but he’s not a horrible player. SIGN HIM WREN!

  22. padre44 5 years ago

    I think Cantu would be a good add for the Padres. He’d get at least 2 or 3 starts a week considering the NL West contains Bumgarner, Sanchez, Kershaw, De La Rosa, and Saunders. On his days off he is a solid pinch hit option and the Friars will need a DH for 9 games during 2011 as well. It seems like an easy sell at this point if the Braves aren’t interested any longer.

    This is all assuming everyone stays healthy at the corner infield spots. If Headley or Hawpe get hurt, he can fill in at either spot. They need him until Blanks is ready.

    • lefty177 5 years ago

      I don’t follow the Padres’ farm system but how did Blanks do when they sent him down? Just wondering because he actually did ok for me for the 1st month then they sent him down

  23. bobrewer 5 years ago

    Braves no longer interested? Sounds like another one of Frank Wren’s tactics. He’s probably unhappy word got out of the Braves’ involvement, so he’s squashing the rumor.

    I’d be willing to bet Cantu ends up a Brave. Besides, then we could say “Brian McCann and Jorge Cantu”.

    • Since the source was Cantu, I suspect it was more of Cantu putting out there and hoping for the best. The Braves would be a very poor fit for Cantu.

  24. mlbscout6 5 years ago

    I wish the Marlins would release Infante and and sign Cantu. I can’t believe no one has signed this guy!

    • bobrewer 5 years ago

      Then the Braves could re-sign Infante, in which case the net result of the Uggla trade would be Uggla for relief pitcher Mike Dunn, nevermind the fact that the Fish would be on the hook for Infante’s 2011 salary if they released him.

      • mlbscout6 5 years ago

        They basically traded Uggla for nothing anyways, might as well release them both now rather than wait a year or two to realize they are both busts.

        I said the same thing when the Marlins traded for Miller and Maybin. I said release Miller now instead of paying him that ridiculous salary to not live up to his “potential”

  25. Eric Hinske
    Matt Young
    David Ross
    Brooks Conrad/Wes Timmons
    Diory Hernandez/Brandon Hicks
    Sign another OFer, not Cantu. I have no faith in Hernandez or Hicks but we will have a better selection of SS backups in July or so. Mather though, looks like a failure waiting to happen. Sign Lastings Milledge sweet jesus, why is he still available?

  26. bosoque 5 years ago

    The Braves don’t have the money to invest in “IF’s”

  27. Jeff 5 years ago

    They got Mather for that. He can play all 3 OFs, 3B, and 1B, he’s like a poor man’s DeRosa. (his CF ain’t that good, but it’s better then McLouths)

    hopefully the Padres get him, Braves don’t need him.

  28. Did you know that Ross has the 4th highest ISO for catchers(minimum 1,500 PA’s) in baseball history?

    Work him at 1B a little, he needs more at bats. Dude technically led the team in OPS the last two years….

  29. Brad426 5 years ago

    Here is the bench right now:


    If they have Diory and Cantu on the roster who is the back-up CF? And if they have Shafer and Cantu on the roster who plays SS? I just don’t see Cantu making any sense unless they plan on releasing Mather, and why claim Mather if you didn’t think he could be on the 25 man roster?

  30. Brad426 5 years ago

    I suppose. And I guess if you have Cantu and Shafer fill out the roster that you could, in the event on an in-game injury to Gonzalez, move Prado down to SS (about as appealing as Mather playing CF) and then call up Diory the next day. Just doesn’t seem like the way most managers like to construct their bench.

  31. roberty 5 years ago

    With Prado as the primary backup for so many positions things could get ugly if (when) Chipper gets hurt. I would prefer an outfielder who can take over for McLouth, but an extra corner infielder would basically fill the same need.

    It’s not like Wren is going to give Cantu a substantial contract or multiple years. He is a backup player. He won’t break the bank. There isn’t much to spend money on right now anyway.

  32. bobrewer 5 years ago

    I’m glad someone finally agrees with me. He’s really stepped him game up in Atlanta and needs to at least be considered for more playing time.

  33. I’m shocked he signed an extension with the Braves knowing he’s gonna be in a backup role, plenty of teams would’ve signed him to start with a starters salary. One of the coolest guys in the bigs.

  34. bobrewer 5 years ago

    He really loves the atmosphere of the Braves clubhouse, plus he’s from Georgia. He really seems like one of the coolest teammates, plus he’s a good leader.

  35. Brad426 5 years ago

    It’s funny, I keep cringing when I think of Mather being the back-up CF, but you’re right… he is better defensively than our starter.

  36. I cringe every time I think about having McLouth on the roster.

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