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Reds acquire Cantu from Devil Rays

Reds acquire Cantu from Devil Rays

CINCINNATI -- The Reds acquired infielder Jorge Cantu and outfielder Shaun Cumberland and cash from the Devil Rays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Calvin Medlock and left-handed pitcher Brian Shackelford and future considerations, Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky announced on Saturday.

The Reds' press release of the transaction reported that Cantu, 25, will have a spot on the Reds' 40-man roster, but will be optioned to Triple-A Louisville. He joined Louisville when the Bats met Tampa Bay's Triple-A Durham affiliate Saturday in Louisville.

Krivsky, who first contacted the Devil Rays about the infielder a month ago, said Cantu can play first base, second base, third base and, if needed, left field.

"It wasn't like we were talking every day," Krivsky said of his dialog with Tampa Bay. "I mentioned our interest, we didn't talk for a week, we picked it back up again. This was not a daily thing for the last 30 days. I know we weren't the only team interested in him."

Cantu set a Tampa Bay record in 2005 with 117 RBIs and was named the Devil Rays' Most Valuable Player by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. That season, Cantu led the Major Leagues by driving in 21.1 percent of the baserunners he inherited, and his 2005 RBI total was the most by a player prior to the age of 24 since 23-year-old Albert Pujols drove in 124 runs in 2003.

Cantu batted .207 with four RBIs in 58 at-bats spread over 25 games with the Devil Rays this season.

"The guy hasn't played much [this season]," Krivsky said. "We're taking a little bit of a calculated risk here, however you want to say it, but this guy has done it in the past, and one thing I think sometimes, is if he's shown it to you once, maybe he can do it again."

Cumberland, 22, was selected by the Devil Rays in the 10th round of the June 2003 First-Year Player Draft. In 99 games this year with Double-A Montgomery, Cumberland hit .246 with six home runs and 34 RBIs.

"We like [Cumberland's] athleticism and his ability to play all three outfield spots," Krivsky said. "He's 23, so he's got age on his side to some extent in Double-A. We like him as a prospect."

Patrick Allegri is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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