Jorge Cantu Rumors


Heyman On Emaus, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers

In a column for SI.com, Jon Heyman discusses the new-look Rays, examining the team's chances in a competitive AL East. While one Rays person candidly acknowledges "we've got a lot of holes," the general consensus around baseball is that it would be a mistake to discount the defending division champs. Here are a few other highlights from Heyman:



Quick Hits: Athletics, Cabrera, Jeter, Braves, Janssen

Let's take a look at some links for Monday night..



Padres Sign Jorge Cantu

The Padres have officially signed Jorge Cantu to a one-year deal worth $850K, the team announced. We had previously heard that San Diego preferred to sign him to a minor league pact. Cantu is represented by the Wasserman Media Group.

Cantu, 29 later this week, hit just .256/.304/.392 in 515 plate appearances for the Marlins and Rangers last season, though he performed at a much more respectable .283/.336/.462 clip from 2008-2009. Capable of playing the corner infield spots and filling in at second in an emergency, he offers some versatility and could platoon with the left-swinging Brad Hawpe at first.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports originally reported the agreement (Twitter links), while Marty Caswell of XX 1090 in San Diego added the terms (Twitter link).



NL West Notes: Cantu, Giants, Rockies

We've already caught up on the American League West teams today. Now let's check out the latest news from their counterparts in the Senior Circuit...



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.



Quick Hits: Soriano, Manuel, Galarraga, Angels

Some items from around the majors...

  • The Angels aren't one of the teams reportedly still interested in Rafael Soriano, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.  The Yankees are "still trying," in spite of their earlier statements to the contrary.
  • Charlie Manuel's agent tells Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Manuel and the Phillies have a mutual interest in working out a contract extension before Opening Day.  Manuel has one year left on his current deal, and Salisbury speculates that he's looking for a two-year extension worth roughly $4MM per season.
  • Armando Galarraga is out of options, eligible for arbitration and has probably been squeezed out of the Detroit rotation by Brad Penny, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com.  If Galarraga gets too large of a salary bump in arbitration, the Tigers could choose to trade or just release him before Opening Day.
  • The Angels' quiet offseason has been heavily criticized, but Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reminds us that the Halos still have a very solid team.
  • If the Twins don't re-sign Jim Thome, Kelly Thesier of MLB.com says the team could return to what it was looking for last winter: a right-handed hitting backup option in the outfield or at first base.  Thesier cites Jorge Cantu and Troy Glaus as possibilities, and we've heard the Padres were considering the same two players.  The Twins could also dip into the rest of the DH market, or look to upgrade their bullpen.
  • There isn't much historial evidence to suggest that Josh Beckett will return to his ace form over the long run, writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald.



Padres Notes: Cantu, Glaus, Catching

You stay classy, San Diego!  Here are some items about the Friars...

  • The Padres were known to be looking for a platoon partner for the newly-acquired Brad Hawpe at first base, and SI's Jon Heyman tweets that Jorge Cantu and Troy Glaus are candidates, though either is a "remote possibility."  Heyman reported last month that the Padres were looking at Cantu and Glaus for their first base opening, and both still make sense given that Hawpe has only played nine games at first in his career.
  • In an MLB.com mailbag, Corey Brock writes that San Diego wanted to pick up another veteran catcher this winter, but John Buck's three-year, $18MM deal with Florida raised the price on the entire catching market.  For instance, the Padres thought they had a good chance to sign free agent Rod Barajas, who ended up signing a surprisingly high $3.25MM deal with the Dodgers.
  • From that same mailbag, Brock says San Diego is looking to add a left-handed bat to come off the bench.



Heyman On Padres, Fuentes, Blanton, Greinke

The offseason has been full of surprises and, as Jon Heyman of SI.com points out, we know a relatively small amount about the top remaining free agents. It appears that the A’s, Angels and Rangers have some interest in Adrian Beltre, but that's about all we know about him and it's more than we know about Rafael Soriano. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors:



D'Backs Seriously Considering Jorge Cantu

Jorge Cantu is one of the first basemen the Diamondbacks are seriously considering, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The Padres, Mariners and Rockies reportedly have interest in the infielder, though Colorado's interest may have disappeared since the team agreed to terms with Ty Wigginton

Cantu, 29 in January, struggled offensively in 2010, batting just .256/.304/.392 for the Marlins and Rangers. His home run total dropped to 11, down from 16 in 2009 and 29 in 2008. He topped 40 doubles in '08 and '09, but hit just 29 in 2010. Though Cantu has extensive experience at both corner infield positions, GM Kevin Towers is presumably eyeing him as a first baseman, since the D'Backs already have Melvin Mora and Geoff Blum at the hot corner.



Padres, Mariners, D'Backs In On Jorge Cantu

Free agent infielder Jorge Cantu is generating interest from the Padres, Mariners, and Diamondbacks, tweets Yahoo's Tim Brown.

Cantu, 29 in January, had a rough year for the Marlins and Rangers in 2010.  He hit .256/.304/.392 in 515 plate appearances, logging time at the infield corners.









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