Angels sign Jorge Cantu, Doug Deeds to minor league deals
The Angels signed veteran utility infielder Jorge Cantu, who had a 29-homer season in 2008 and a 100-RBI season in 2009 for the Florida Marlins, and outfielder Doug Deeds to minor league deals Friday. Both will be invited to spring training.
Cantu, who turns 30 on Jan. 30, hit a combined .256 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs for the Marlins and Texas Rangers in 2010. He signed a one-year, $850,000 deal with San Diego before 2011 but hit only .194 with three homers and 16 RBIs in 50 games before being designated for assignment in June. He finished out the season playing for Colorado's triple-A team.
The right-handed-hitting Cantu can play first base, second base, third base, outfield and designated hitter.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto said the acquisition of Cantu does not reflect any elevated concerns about first basemen Mark Trumbo, who is recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot and is not expected back until late February, and Kendrys Morales, who is recovering from a broken left ankle and is questionable for 2012 after missing the past 1 1/2 seasons.
But he did acknowledge that Cantu "gives us flexibility if so-and-so is not ready or so-and-so is injured," Dipoto said. "He offers you experienced power and multi-positional flexibility, and he's a great makeup guy. He'll compete for a roster spot and create competition in-house."
Deeds, 30, has played 10 minor league seasons for four organizations--Minnesota, the Chicago Cubs, Arizona and Texas--compiling a .293 average, .370 on-base percentage, 92 homers and 449 RBIs. He will provide depth at triple-A Salt Lake.
Photo: Infielder Jorge Cantu during his stint with Tampa Bay. Credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images