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Prior to being traded to the Texas Rangers, before the July 31st deadline, Cantu was struggling at the plate hitting a mediocre .262 with 10 home runs, 54 RBI, and a .310 OBP, as a member of the Florida Marlins.
When the Marlins sent Cantu packing to the Lone Star state, the 28-year-old had a prime opportunity to turn his season around, while playing for a postseason contender in a hitter-friendly ball park.
Cantu had a chance to prove that he should be signed to a long-term deal. However, that has not happened.
Until Cantu's solo shot this past Saturday, which not only broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning against the Oakland A's—Cantu's second RBI since joining Texas—it also gave the Rangers their first AL West division title since 1999. But besides for Cantu's late game heroics, his time in Texas has been a major disappointment, hitting a lousy .236, with a .284 OBP, to go along with a .610 OPS in 89 at-bats.
Not the greatest performance if Cantu has hopes of spending the next few seasons in Arlington.
Coming off a two-year stretch in Florida, while setting a career high in 2008 with a .808 OPS (2008), Cantu drove in 195 RBI, and averaged over 20 homers per season, while showing ability to play both corner infield positions. But his discouraging performance for the Rangers, doesn't bode well for his upcoming free agency.
Let's not forget that Cantu has the talent to regain his 2005 form, where he hit 28 home runs, en route to setting a career high in RBI (117), while batting average (.286).
There are clubs out there that will take a chance on Cantu. He's simply too talented to be overlooked. In all likelihood, Cantu will have to settle for an affordable short-term deal, and rebuild his value during the 2011 season.
But for now, Cantu has other priorities.
That's winning a World Series Championship.