Rangers going hard after Marlins' Jorge Cantu

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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.

Mets sign Jose Bautista to a major league deal

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Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.