The Texas Rangers are reportedly intensifying their efforts to get Jorge Cantu from the Marlins. Although names haven't been exchanged yet, word is the Marlins are strongly considering it.
Cantu has 10 home runs and 54 RBI on the season, but just five homers and 29 RBI since April. He is 1-for-11 in his past three games and his average has slipped to .260. He has not homered since June 23, a stretch of 25 games. Saturday, he made two costly errors in the Braves' eight-run eighth inning. After the game, Cantu sat by his locker in full uniform while most of his teammates were showering. He waved off reporters.
The Rangers have been looking for a reliable right-handed hitter to help out at designated hitter and first base. Several reports Sunday had the AL West leaders looking hard at the Orioles Ty Wigginton (they sent three scouts to watch him on Friday) and Cantu despite his recent troubles at the plate and in the field.
"I don't think I'll be traded," Cantu told the Palm Beach Post Sunday. "Not the way I'm swinging the bat."
Cantu, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, is owed about $2.5 million for the remainder of 2010. Wigginton is a little cheaper than Cantu (and that matters to the cash-strapped Rangers) and he's got 16 homers and a .249 average.
The Marlins are in a bit of limbo about whether or not to trade Cantu, especially after the team went 7-3 in the recent homestand to get back to .500 and in the wild card race. Even if the Rangers don't end up offering anything for Cantu, the Rockies, Angels and Giants could.
The question is: Should the Marlins just listen or be aggressive and ship Cantu off?
If Cantu is shipped off, Chris Coghlan will likely move to third and Logan Morrison, who is hitting .306 with 6 homers and 44 RBI for Triple A New Orleans, would replace Coghlan in left field. Coghlan played third base at Ole Miss, but has been coming into his own in the outfield. Morrison, who came up as a first baseman, has only been playing in the outfield (on and off) for the past month and a half. But another left-handed bat sure would be a plus for the Fish. Coghlan by the way hasn't taken grounders since the first week of spring training.