UPDATE: A slight correction. Dan Hayes of the North County Times hears that it is a non-guaranteed major league deal.
11:35 PM: Marty Caswell of XX1090 Sports Radio in San Diego reports that Cantu will make an $850,000 base salary in his new one-year contract with the Padres. I would assume there are some incentives in there, as well.
11:06 PM: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Padres have agreed to sign Jorge Cantu. And opposed to what Jon Heyman of SI.com reported earlier today, the club ultimately gave him a guaranteed major league contract.
Cantu, who turns 29 later this month, batted .256/.304/.392 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI last season. He had a meager .235 batting average over 105 plate appearances after being acquired by Rangers at the trade deadline and was largely a non-factor during the team’s World Series run, seeing a grand total of four plate appearances during the entire postseason.
The right-handed hitting Cantu batted just .234 with a .647 OPS in 154 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last season, but if he can get back to his production against southpaws from 2009 ( .892 OPS) and 2008 (.866 OPS), he could be a pretty solid platoon partner for Brad Hawpe at first base or Chase Headley at the hot corner.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger, the club announced Saturday. This marks the fourth disabled list stint for Sanchez this season after blister issues cropped up again during his start against the Red Sox on Wednesday. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, there is still no estimated timetable for his return to the mound.
Sanchez, 25, has made just eight starts for the Blue Jays in 2017. Between multiple trips to the DL, he’s racked up a 4.25 ERA, 5.0 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through 36 innings and currently carries a 1-3 record. He started to look stable after delivering his first quality start last week, but lasted only four innings against Boston on Wednesday night and issued six hits, five runs and two strikeouts in another losing effort.
In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays activated right-hander Joe Smith from the 10-day disabled list (right shoulder inflammation) and recalled fellow righty Chris Smith from Triple-A Buffalo. Left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau, who suffered in an eight-run inning during Friday’s 13-3 loss to the Indians, was designated for assignment.
Diamondbacks’ left-hander Anthony Banda is set to make his big league debut on Saturday, per a team announcement. The Diamondbacks recalled the southpaw from Triple-A Reno prior to the game after Taijuan Walker was placed on paternity leave.
It’s been a rough season for the club’s top prospect, who enters Saturday’s contest with a 5.08 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 over his first 101 innings in Triple-A this season. The 23-year-old lefty carries a 7-5 record through his first 18 starts and is coming off of his worst outing of the year, during which he issued 15 hits, seven runs and just one strikeout against the Angels-affiliated Salt Lake Bees.
Facing Banda is Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark, who owns a 4.98 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 106 2/3 innings in 2017. Roark pitched a respectable six innings in his last start, scattering four hits, three runs and five strikeouts en route to his seventh win of the season. He also has the added benefit of pitching behind one of the league’s most potent offenses, and boasts a hefty run support average of 5.68 runs per game.
The D-backs currently lead the Nationals, 1-0, and will face off for their second game at 8:10 ET on Saturday night.