Cantu subject of trade talks
Boosted by winning seven of 10 on their homestand that completed on Sunday, the Marlins are not thinking about making wholesale changes before Saturday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
The most likely player to be moved is Jorge Cantu.
A free agent after the season, Cantu has drawn attention from the Rangers, Rockies and Giants.
The Rangers appear to be the most viable option, based on reporting by MLB.com and other news outlets.
One of the Marlins most productive players since 2008, Cantu has 10 homers and 54 RBIs this season. In his 2 1/2 years with Florida has has 55 homers and 249 RBIs. The Marlins are seeking pitching in return.
The Marlins have already shown signs that they are preparing to be without Cantu. Dan Uggla, who is not being shoppped, was switched to cleanup with Cantu, dropping from fourth to fifth.
After Cantu made two costly errors in a loss to the Braves on Saturday, he wasn’t in the lineup Sunday, although manager Edwin Rodriguez said the veteran was expected to get the day off anyway.
In late innings, Cantu has often been replaced at third base by Wes Helms. In the past, Cantu would switch to first base when Helms entered. Now, Gaby Sanchez frequently remains at first.
And at Triple-A New Orleans, highly touted prospect Logan Morrison — primarily a first baseman — has started in left field in nine straight games, including Monday afternoon. The last time Morrison started at first base was on July 19.
The significance of Morrison playing more in the outfield means the team appears to be leaning towards moving Chris Coghlan from left field to third base.
Coghlan, whose best position in the Minor Leagues was second base, saw considerable time at third base when he was a prospect. Defensively, Coghlan is said to be a little better at third than Cantu, whose best position is first base.
If Morrison is added to the lineup, it would provide a much needed left-handed bat. Morrison at New Orleans is hitting .306 with six homers and 44 RBIs with 16 doubles, and a .424 on-base percentage. He doesn’t generate big home run numbers, but he is seen as a plus .300 hitter in the big leagues.
Cantu may wind up being the only Marlin traded before Saturday’s deadline. Cody Ross, a subject of speculation, is a steady center fielder and teams haven’t been offering anything to entice the Marlins to make a trade.
Uggla is part of the team’s plans for 2011. The team is weighing whether to sign Uggla to a multi-year contract.
— Joe Frisaro