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.


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91 Comments on "Braves Not Pursuing Jorge Cantu"


bosoque
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

*When Chipper misses time.

Jeff
4 years 7 months 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 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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.

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

bobrewer
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

AtlantaBraves2210
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

Agreed. Who plays SS if Gonzalez gets hurt?

4 years 7 months ago

Brandon Hicks or Diory Hernandez, I’d imagine.

Brad426
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

Mather can play center.

Brad426
4 years 7 months ago

Sorta.

4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

yankeeaddiction
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

yankeeaddiction
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

Nah, I get that.

4 years 7 months ago

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.

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 7 months ago

Yes, but who would he replace on the roster?

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 7 months ago

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

yankeeaddiction
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

Brad426
4 years 7 months ago

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

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 7 months ago

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

Brad426
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 7 months ago

He hasn’t retired yet?! DX

Brad426
4 years 7 months 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).

4 years 7 months ago

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

roberty
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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.

roberty
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

I’d rather have Lipka than Diory.

roberty
4 years 7 months ago

Everyone would. But Lipka is years away.

Bo
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

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

Wandering_Brave_Fan
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

BaseballLogic_Braves
4 years 7 months ago

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

coolstorybro222
4 years 7 months ago

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

padresfuture
4 years 7 months 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.

coolstorybro222
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months ago

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

GovClintonTyree
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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.