In a minor move, the Reds acquired infielder Jorge Cantu today along with outfielder Shaun Cumberland. They shipped pitchers Calvin Medlock and Brian Shackelford to the Devil Rays in the deal.
The Reds are doing the right thing by sending the 24 year-old Cantu to Triple A to re-establish himself. Yes, he once drove in 117 runs and blah blah blah. The power potential is nice; he now needs to keep his head down, maybe learn a little plate discipline, and hit his way into the Reds’ lineup. There’s no infield spot for him, unless Wayne Krivsky foolishly trades Edwin Encarnacion or just starts Cantu over EE.
Cumberland is a legitimate prospect, though the 23 year-old didn’t step up to the challenge of Double A. He’s got the tools to succeed, and he was never going to crack the Devil Rays’ outfield. There’s some upside here even if the numbers don’t show it.
I don’t know much about Medlock but the reliever posted sick numbers in his second crack at Double A this year – 11.1 K/9, 0.9 BB/9. He hit a wall in Triple A though. According to Baseball Prospectus, he’s a small flamethrower with a fine change-up. I’m not sure why the Reds would be giving up an interesting guy like this for Cantu.
Shackelford is a 31 year-old southpaw who the Reds were probably happy to unload. Shackelford is best known for this debacle, though ultimately charges weren’t pressed. He’s not anything special on the mound.
I have to give this trade to the Devil Rays, because Medlock seems interesting and Cantu’s value was near rock bottom. The Rays had no place for Cantu, though the Reds don’t appear to either.