Thursday, December 04, 2008

Notes on Stark's Latest

I've already posted tonight, but Jason Stark comes up with a couple of notes that need to be commened on briefly.

The Giants aren't the only team interested in Florida's Jorge Cantu. There are indications the White Sox also have gotten involved.

Hmm, there's a name worth examining. Cantu is right-handed, 26 years old, plays third base, and hit 29 home runs. Sounds perfect, right? Well, he was last year. And he was in 2005, when he hit 28 home runs for the Rays. But in between he was a complete wash out as American League teams exploited his free-swinging ways to the tune of a .244 batting average. Last year he signed with Florida for a minor league contract.

What changed last year? Well, not a lot. He showed the most plate discipline of his career, but his K:BB ratio was still just short of 3:1, or about the same as our old friend Torii Hunter. Cantu would be a high-risk, high-reward player, especially considering he would be coming back to the American League.

Want more to chew on? His defene is substandard. But did I mention he hit 3rd for most of last year in the Marlins' lineup? Can you imagine that undisciplined bat following Span and Mauer, and hitting in front of Morneau?

And while the Twins weren't mentioned in Stark's story, the Marlins and the Twins would be decent trading partners. Cantu would be available because he is becoming more expensive. The Marlins need starting pitching, and that starting pitching would need to be cheap.

So what would you risk? Blackburn seems like a given. Perkins? Slowey?

OK, that's it for tonight. Stark also talked about Rafael Furcal, but we'll have all weekend to talk about him. There will be plenty of opportunities.


Anonymous said...

His defense would have to improve to be substandard...but yes, I believe Cantu to be a worthy flier at this juncture but it depends on what his market value is. In my opinion the more candidates for a position in spring training, the better.

Anonymous said...

A couple years ago, some radio caller asked Terry Ryan about signing or trading for Cantu help somewhere in the infield. TR's response went something like "Defensively, we view Cantu as a DH." I doubt if the organizational view of him has changed much in the past 2 years.