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Padres agree to deal with Jorge Cantu

Jan 25, 2011, 12:53 AM EDT

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

UPDATE: A slight correction. Dan Hayes of the North County Times hears that it is a non-guaranteed major league deal.

11:35 PM: Marty Caswell of XX1090 Sports Radio in San Diego reports that Cantu will make an $850,000 base salary in his new one-year contract with the Padres. I would assume there are some incentives in there, as well.

11:06 PM: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Padres have agreed to sign Jorge Cantu. And opposed to what Jon Heyman of SI.com reported earlier today, the club ultimately gave him a guaranteed major league contract.

Cantu, who turns 29 later this month, batted .256/.304/.392 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI last season. He had a meager .235 batting average over 105 plate appearances after being acquired by Rangers at the trade deadline and was largely a non-factor during the team’s World Series run, seeing a grand total of four plate appearances during the entire postseason.

The right-handed hitting Cantu batted just .234 with a .647 OPS in 154 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last season, but if he can get back to his production against southpaws from 2009 ( .892 OPS) and 2008 (.866 OPS), he could be a pretty solid platoon partner for Brad Hawpe at first base or Chase Headley at the hot corner.

  1. BC - Jan 25, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    I’d start him at 1B ahead of Hawpe. Hawpe looks like he’s toast.

  2. icanspeel - Jan 25, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    I like the move, gives the Padres more depth and options. Bud Black does well with shifting lineups around and going with what works.

  3. D.J. Short - Jan 25, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Eh, I’m not so sure about that. The Padres should give Hawpe every chance to prove that last season was an anomaly. Cantu has always been mediocre against right-handed pitching.

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