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Padres give up on Jorge Cantu

Jun 15, 2011, 7:10 PM EDT

Jorge Cantu AP

Even though the Padres will be using the designated hitter in Minnesota this weekend, they said after Wednesday’s game that they’re cutting veteran Jorge Cantu.

The move is likely clearing a spot for Orlando Hudson to come off the DL on Friday.

Cantu was signed to platoon with Brad Hawpe at first base and back up Chase Headley at third base, but he was a big failure in his role, hitting .194/.232/.285 with three homers in 144 at-bats.  With the recent promotion of Anthony Rizzo, Cantu was no longer needed as a first baseman against lefties, leaving him with little to do.

It’s hard to say what’s next for Cantu.  He drove in 100 runs in 2009, and he’s still just 29 years old.  However, he’s struggled mightily over the last year and he’s a liability defensive anywhere except first base.  He went unsigned into late January over the winter before settling for $850,000 from the Padres, and there should be even less demand for his services now.  Odds are that he’ll have to spend some time in Triple-A before getting another shot.

  1. Utley's Hair - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Wow…the odd man out to Orlando Hudson and Brad Hawpe? Just…wow….

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Morneau just hit the DL. The Twins have Cuddy they could move to 1B, but with Kubel/Span hurting, they could give Cantu a go at 1B for a few weeks, try to catch lightning in a bottle or something?! The old “change of scenery” mindset?!

    …or he could play for my slowpitch team. Either one figures to have the same impact on the AL Central pennant.

  3. genericcommenter - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    He drove in 100 runs while never being very good. He was barely average during his good years.

    I was going to say his 100 RBI season reminded me of something out of Jeff King’s career, but Jeff King was many times more valuable. My next thought was Derek Bell circa 1996, similar batting-wise but still more valuable.

  4. jwbiii - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    “You can’t swing at those pitches a foot off the plate!”
    “Cantu!”

  5. Old Gator - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    Anyone know a team desperate enough for some additional hitting with a cheapskate owner, a pet chihuahua for a team president who moonlights as a film critic and a supposedly perspicacious general manager with a reputation for temporarily rehabilitating reclamations off the scrapheap?

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