MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan first reported it last night and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is confirming. The Rangers, six games up in the American League West, are going hard after Marlins corner infielder Jorge Cantu in their ongoing search for a quality right-handed bat.
Cantu, 28, isn’t having the best July, but he was an RBI machine earlier this season and he’s tallied a respectable 10 home runs in 358 at-bats. The Marlins appear ready to clear a roster spot for top prospect Logan Morrison, who is batting .304/.423/.471 with five homers and 42 RBI in 227 at-bats for Triple-A New Orleans.
Cantu would serve as a backup to young first baseman Chris Davis in Texas and would also act as a quality late-innings pinch-hitter. As it stands, the Rangers’ bench consists of the light-hitting Joaquin Arias, journeyman Andres Blanco, backup catcher Taylor Teagarden and outfielder David Murphy.
The Rangers have been great this year, but if there is one area that needs improvement it is the bench.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.