Even though the Padres will be using the designated hitter in Minnesota this weekend, they said after Wednesday’s game that they’re cutting veteran Jorge Cantu.
The move is likely clearing a spot for Orlando Hudson to come off the DL on Friday.
Cantu was signed to platoon with Brad Hawpe at first base and back up Chase Headley at third base, but he was a big failure in his role, hitting .194/.232/.285 with three homers in 144 at-bats. With the recent promotion of Anthony Rizzo, Cantu was no longer needed as a first baseman against lefties, leaving him with little to do.
It’s hard to say what’s next for Cantu. He drove in 100 runs in 2009, and he’s still just 29 years old. However, he’s struggled mightily over the last year and he’s a liability defensive anywhere except first base. He went unsigned into late January over the winter before settling for $850,000 from the Padres, and there should be even less demand for his services now. Odds are that he’ll have to spend some time in Triple-A before getting another shot.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.
Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.
Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.