Hyperactive Rangers Keep Stockpiling With Cantu

The Deal
The Rangers continued to stockpile veterans for the stretch run and playoffs, sending a pair of minor league pitchers to the Marlins for Jorge Cantu, a 28-year-old corner infielder. Texas parted with Double-A righthander Evan Reed and Omar Poveda, who had Tommy John surgery in April and has spent the entire season on the disabled list.

While the righthanded-hitting Cantu may be stretched as a regular at first base, he’s a great fit for the Rangers, who have seen regular Chris Davis go 4-for-27 (.148) against lefthanded pitchers this season. What’s more, Davis has batted just .189/.267/.245 with three doubles in 53 at-bats since being installed as the regular after the trade of Justin Smoak.

Cantu also plays third base, but a combination of fringy defense there and the presence of Michael Young in Arlington ought to keep him confined to a first base/DH role. Whatever the case, he’ll enjoy moving from Miami’s suppressive Sun Life Stadium to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Marlins Acquire
Evan Reed, rhp

Age: 24.

Born: Dec. 31, 1985 in Santa Maria, Calif.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Bats: R. Throws: R.

School: Cal Poly.

Career Transactions: Selected by Rangers in third round of 2007 draft; signed July 3, 2007.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Frisco (TL) AA 1 1 1.62 30 0 5 39 35 7 7 0 13 34 1.23
Okla. City (PCL) AAA 1 0 4.50 1 0 0 2 1 1 1 1 0 2 0.50
Total 2 1 1.76 31 0 5 41 36 8 8 1 13 36 1.20

It’s all about the fastball for Reed, who sits in the low 90s and can go get 95 mph with plus boring life up in the zone. His slider is average most times out and features late, short break. Reed moved to the bullpen in 2009, as he repeated high Class A Bakersfield, and has gradually shown better control in that role. With his physical 6-foot-4 build and ability to get on top of the ball, he could have a future in middle relief.

Omar Poveda, rhp

Age: 22.

Born: Sept. 28, 1987 in Turmero, Venezuela.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Bats: R. Throws: R.

Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Rangers, July 20, 2004.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Has not played—Injured

The Rangers added Poveda to the 40-man roster following the 2008 season, after he had struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings in the high Class A California League. However, he made just 17 starts that year because he missed time with a shoulder injury. Poveda held his own as a 21-year-old in Double-A in ’09, but a hand injury sidelined him for a few weeks. The news got worse this spring, when Poveda learned that he had a completely torn elbow ligament and that Tommy John surgery was required. The pre-TJ version of Poveda featured an 88-92 mph fastball, an above-average changeup and an average curveball with some depth. Of course, the world may have to wait a year or more to see that Poveda re-emerge. If he pans out, he’s probably a command-oriented starter who fits at the back of the rotation.

Rangers Acquire
Jorge Cantu, 3b/1b

Age: 28. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: Remainder of $6 million salary (approximately $2.2 million; Marlins send $600,000.)

Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Florida (NL) 2008 .277 155 628 92 174 41 0 29 95 40 111 6 .327 .481
Florida (NL) 2009 .289 149 585 67 169 42 0 16 100 47 81 3 .345 .443
Florida (NL) 2010 .262 97 374 41 98 25 0 10 54 23 76 0 .310 .409
3-Year Totals .278 401 1587 200
441 108 0 55 249 110 268 9 .330 .450

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