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 Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.