The Los Angeles Angels signed journeyman infielder Jorge Cantu to a minor-league contract Friday and invited the once-feared slugger to join them for spring training.
Cantu hit 29 home runs for the Florida Marlins in 2008 and drove in 100 runs the following year, but has struggled the past two seasons. He signed an $850,000 deal with the San Diego Padres shortly before the 2011 season, but was designated for assignment in June after batting .194 in 57 games. He finished the season with the Colorado Rockies’ Triple-A club in Colorado Springs.
Cantu, a seven-year veteran from Reynosa, Mexico, has played for five different major-league teams. In the past two seasons, he has played first, second and third base.
The Angels also signed outfielder Doug Deeds to a minor-league deal. Deeds, 30, batted .239 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs for the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A team in Round Rock.
Cantu, 29, and Deeds will be in competition for bench jobs this spring as the Angels, under new general manager Jerry Dipoto, look to improve their depth.