Cantu agrees on $6 million contract
The Marlins came to terms on a one-year, $6 million contract with slugger Jorge Cantu.
Retaining Cantu also was a high priority. The veteran will turn 28 on Jan. 30, and he’s been one of the Marlins top run producers the past two years. In 2009, he collected 100 RBIs batting in the cleanup spot, behind All-Star Hanley Ramirez.
Cantu, who made $3.5 million in ’09, can play either first base or third base. In Spring Training, prospects Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison will get a shot to win the first base job. If one of them does, Cantu projects to play third base. If neither prospect claims first base, then Cantu would be the front runner to play first.
In the first half of 2009, Cantu dealt with some injury and health issues. He played through a sore left hand, after being hit by a Daniel Cabrera fastball in the third game of the year. Before he was completely recovered, he went through stretches where his body was lethargic, a side effect created by medication he was taking for a cholesterol condition.
In the second to last game of the season, Cantu sprained his right ankle, and he spent a few weeks in a walking boot.
While Cantu’s home run total was down from 29 in 2008 to 16 in 2009, he drove in more runs last year.
He was able to reach the century mark by driving in 25 after August.
Cantu added a career high 42 doubles, topping the 41 he hit in 2008.
– Joe Frisaro