Carlos Quentin was supposed to be the Padres offensive savior in left field. Unfortunately, he hurt his knee during
spring training and underwent arthroscopic surgery. During his time on the disabled list, the Padres fell hopelessly out of contention, and no amount of offense from Quentin could change that. Quentin has provided some offense though – just a little bit. You know, offense to the tune of 372 OPS+ and a .481/.548/.1185 triple-slash. He has five home runs and four doubles in eight games since returning from the disabled list. This, of course, makes him a priority target as the trade deadline approaches.
Buster Olney of ESPN feels Carlos Quentin could be viewed in a similar light that teams viewed Carlos Beltran last season. Beltran was widely believed to be the best hitter available at the trade deadline last year (Hunter Pence had an argument there). The Giants traded for Beltran at the deadline and gave up one of their top prospects, Zach Wheeler. Olney feels the Padres could get a similar return if they choose to trade him.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Phillies, the Tigers, and the Rangers are among teams that may be looking for a right-handed bat at the deadline. Those teams may be willing to overlook Quentin’s injury history and part with some top-level talent if the Padres agree to trade the All-Star left fielder.
The if is the biggest unknown to this point. At the time of the Padres trade for Carlos Quentin, most around San Diego felt he would be a half-season rental to see how much he could help the Padres. Not many thought the Padres would compete and figured Quentin would be flipped at the trade deadline. That may still happen, but Josh Byrnes, the Padres general manager, has been keeping his plans close to the vest. San Diego, who has been in desperate need of some pop in their lineup, may choose to extend Quentin’s contract.
It would be a an expensive proposition for the small-market Padres, but if they were to sign Quentin to a long-term deal, they would assure themselves some power in the lineup for years to come.
With the number of prospects in the Padres farm system, they may be ready to start supplementing home grown talent with free agents and trades. Quentin could be the first piece in doing so. But until the deadline gets closer, we may not know for sure what the Padres’ plans for Carlos Quentin truly are.
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