Talks between the Marlins and Rangers for slugger Jorge Cantu have reached the point where if a deal happens, it probably will happen in the next day or two, according to two major-league officials with knowledge of the discussions.
The Rangers are in full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal mode with a seven-game lead in the AL West. One club source says the belief is that now is the time to push because this current Rangers team is showing that it's ready to win now.
The Texas front office believes it too, given the acquisitions so far of ace Cliff Lee and catcher Bengie Molina. If the Rangers can add Cantu to their lineup, as one scout says, they would add "probably the least-known 100 RBI guy in the game."
With the Angels having acquired right-hander Dan Haren from Arizona on Sunday and Seattle having dealt Lee to Texas earlier this month, the AL West is putting on quite a trade-deadline show this summer.
In the deal currently being discussed, Texas would send two minor-leaguers to Florida for Cantu. The Rangers would have to get the OK of the Commissioner's Office before any deal takes place because Cantu is owed about $2 million yet for 2010 and the Rangers, of course, are in bankruptcy court as their sale is pending.
However, Cantu also would be a perfect stretch-run pickup for the Rangers because there are no money issues after this year -- Cantu will become a free agent.
Meantime, while the Marlins have other issues -- such as, at 49-49 and eight games behind Atlanta in the NL East, they're trying to determine whether they're in or out of the race -- trading Cantu somewhere appears close to a fait accompli. The Marlins also are engaging Colorado and San Francisco in discussions.
The Marlins are comfortable with the idea of Chris Coghlan playing third base -- or, while he's on the disabled list with a knee injury, with Wes Helms there -- and they think Logan Morrison is ready for the majors. Morrison has been playing left field in recent games for Triple-A New Orleans and is hitting .306 with six home runs, 44 RBI and a .424 on-base percentage in 67 games.
Their feeling is, if they do trade Cantu and the trickle down effect includes Morrison, Coghlan and Helms, it won't hurt them while they make a run at it this summer.