Trade Deadline Fallout: Jorge Cantu To The Rangers

According to Ken Rosenthal via Twitter, the Texas Rangers have acquired Jorge Cantu from the Florida Marlins in exchange for minor league pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda (Cantu is still in the game for the Marlins, so this is not yet “official”).

The Rangers Get
When the Rangers traded Justin Smoak, it meant the return of Chris Davis to regular playing time at first base.  While he crushed Triple-A pitching (.354, 10 HR in 263 AB), he continues to struggle in the Major Leagues.  In 101 AB he is hitting .188 without a home run, so it’s no surprise that they were looking to upgrade.  While Davis could get some AB against right-handed pitchers, I would be surprised if Cantu did not get the bulk of the playing time.

Cantu has hit .263 with 8 HR in 283 AB against right-handed pitchers this season.  He has proven to be a great run producer, with at least 95 RBI each of the past two seasons and 54 already this year.  He enters a significantly better lineup, so the RBI should continue no matter where he is slotted.

He also moves to a better hitter’s ballpark.  He’s proven to have power in the past, though he has just 10 HR thus far this season.  Would it surprise anyone to see him reach 20 by year’s end?  It’s not like he’s not hitting fly balls, with a 41.1% FB%.

Cantu is just a solid player and remains usable in most formats, especially with 3B eligibility.  The deal certainly improves his value, while Davis’ falls significantly.

The Marlins Get
Neither player were among the Rangers Top 10 prospects prior to the season according to Baseball America.  Reed has been pitching great out of the bullpen at Double-A, with a 1.62 ERA, 5 saves and 34 K over 39.0 innings of work.  He appears to have found a niche in the bullpen, but unless he transforms into a closer will have no fantasy value moving forward.

Poveda, meanwhile, is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.  He had one start at Triple-A last year, but overall has a minor league record of 33-36 with a 4.23 ERA and 518 K over 591.0 innings.  He seems like a non-factor at this point.

This move may open up regular playing time for the recently recalled Logan Morrison.  With Chris Coghlan out, Morrison could play regularly in the outfield, with Emilio Bonifacio moving to 3B.  He is not a big-time talent, hitting just six home runs in 238 AB prior to his recall, despite playing in the Pacific Coast League.  Leave him for the deepest of formats, even if he does play everyday.

Of course, they also could recall Cameron Maybin, who has hit .343 in 10 games at Triple-A.  He has a ton of speed, but has yet to put it together at the Major League level.  Like Morrison, he can be left for deeper formats, even if he is recalled.  He, however, is worth monitoring in all formats due to his speed.

What are your thoughts on the deal?

Make sure to check out our trade deadline analysis:

Keep checking www.rotoprofessor.com for all the fantasy fallout from the deadline deals!

4 comments

  1. Chad says:

    So whom gets his playing time in Florida? Helms?

  2. Rotoprofessor says:

    Chad, I actually just updated the article to incorporate it. I could see Logan Morrison getting regular time, or Cameron Maybin being recalled. Either way, they are low-end options at this point.

  3. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Logan Morrison, the most polished and MLB-ready hitter since Carlos Santana, a “low-end” option? Are you nuts?

    Roto, please do your homework on this guy. In his first season in the majors, he has the ability to hit in the upper 200′s (270 to 290) while being an RBI and Doubles machine. Translate that to next season and he will gain more power (as he continues to grow physically) and his average will rise (as he gets acquainted with MLB pitching).

    He hasn’t been a homerun hitter since his days in the Sally league (24 HR in 450 AB), and his career FB% is only at 33% – so he isn’t going to give you much in terms of HR. But everything else about this kid is primed for big league success….

    His .310 avg looks awesome, and I am sure that nay-sayers will point to his high BABIP (.337), but his career BABIP is .327 – so this isn’t an unusually high number. He’s also rocking a .423 OBP (45 BB, 4 IBB) and a .471 SLG (which IS low for a first baseman).

    But the most telling stat about how polished Logan’s skills are is his career K:BB ratio with Runners in scoring position (92:98)….

    As I said, he is the most polished hitter since Carlos Santana, but when Santana came out of the minors he was 2 years older than Morrison, so I don’t have any doubt that Morrison will see his fair share of struggles. But to call him a low-end option is unfair to him – and once he gets dual eligibility (unless Gaby Sanchez moves to 3B) then he becomes even more valuable.

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    Nick, when I said he’s a low-end option, it was for this season. Without the power, he’s not going to be a great option this season. Moving forward, I would agree, he has the potential to be usable in all formats if he can become a 20 HR hitter, similar to Cantu.

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