Good column by MLB.com’s Hal Bodley about Jorge Cantu that suggests – as Rob and I would like to be reminded of more often – that the Reds made a costly mistake by giving up on him after the 2007 season.
Last week against the Cincinnati Reds, the team that sent him packing after the 2007 season, he became the first player in MLB history to get at least one hit and one RBI in his team’s first nine games.
That it came against Cincinnati was fitting. The Reds, who obtained Cantu in a trade with Tampa Bay during the 2007 season, released him rather than offer salary arbitration and pay him at least $1 million.
And Walt Jocketty, who we pointed out wasn’t the GM yet when Cantu was released in December of 2007 (it was still Wayne Krivsky), wasn’t directly quoted in the column but did say, according to Bodley, that “seldom has the release of a player come back to haunt him as much as Cantu has.”
“Wayne Krivsky is a fine gentleman,” Cantu said. “He told me how it was going to be, that I needed to go to Triple-A to get some at-bats. I totally agreed with him, to stay there a few weeks. They brought me back, and I was there for the last month and a half.”
He batted .298 in 27 games.
When Krivsky informed him of the release, Cantu said, “He said I deserved to be a starter somewhere else. The Marlins gave me the opportunity to battle for third base, which I did, and haven’t stopped since.”
Standing by his locker before a game, Cantu paused a moment, looked across the room and said, “I’ve had an uneven track record since I started. There was a little down year in 2007, but it’s amazing what happens when a team picks you up, believes in you and gives you an opportunity. You as a player know what kind of talent you have.”
Wow. Good thing we don’t make a habit of getting rid of players who “deserve to be a starter somewhere else.”