UPDATE: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the deal is done.
6:50 PM: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Angels are close to signing Jorge Cantu. While he didn’t specify, it’s same to assume he would get a minor league deal.
Cantu signed with the Padres last winter and began the season in a platoon with Brad Hawpe at first base, but was released in June after batting just .194/.232/.285 with three homers and a .517 OPS over 155 plate appearances. He finished the year with the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate, hitting .280/.320/.458 with five homers and a .778 OPS in 30 games.
Cantu doesn’t turn 30 until later this month and has shown an ability to hit left-handed pitching in the past, but if all goes as planned for the Angels, he’ll likely open the season in the minors.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.