Mid-Season Trade Candidates–Carlos Quentin

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Name: Carlos Quentin

Tale of the tape: Outfielder; 29-years-old (30 in August); bats right; throws right; 6’2”; 235 lbs.

Contract status: $7.025 million salary for 2012; free agent at the end of the season.

Would the Padres trade him?

Not only would they trade him, but in the right deal GM Josh Byrnes would carry Quentin to his new destination. And given Quentin’s frequent injuries, that might be a necessity.

We’ll never know what the Padres might have been had Quentin not required knee surgery in spring training. He was acquired to be their basher in the middle of the lineup and their offense—shaky to begin with—was non-existent without him. When he returned on May 28th, he immediately showed what he can do when he’s healthy by hitting (as of this writing) 5 homers and 4 doubles in his first 35 plate appearances. They’re 18 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and 14 games out of the Wild Card lead. The season’s shot.

They didn’t give up notable prospects to get Quentin and given the gamebreaking ability he has in the middle of the lineup, they can get some good value for him on the market.

What would they want for him?

The Padres need power bats preferably on the middle infield and in a corner outfield spot.

Which teams would pursue and have the prospects to get him?

The only hope the Padres have of getting a respectable haul for Quentin is if he’s healthy from now to the time they truly decide to move him. If he can stay in the lineup into mid-July, they’ll have to act fast before he gets hurt again. If a bidding war develops because of his production and free agent status at the end of the season, the Padres can get one good prospect or two decent prospects with the attributes—middle infielder, power, on base skills—they’re looking for.

The entire American League East would want him; the White Sox would take him back; the Indians, Tigers, Phillies, Braves, Mets, and Pirates will all inquire on Quentin.

Watch the Pirates. They’re a sleeper team with prospects to deal, are in a winnable division and have the desperate need for a bat.

Would Quentin sign with the team that trades for him and forego free agency?

In a second, but no team is going to give him a long-term deal. If he’s willing to take a short-term contract with incentives the team that acquires him will be open to an extension.

Don’t expect it.

What will happen.

Byrnes isn’t stupid.

He knows that Quentin and the disabled list are irresistible to one another and it’s only a matter of time before something breaks down or he’s unlucky enough to get hit by a pitch and knocked out of action. It’s his history.

If Quentin is healthy by July 10th or so, Byrnes will step up efforts to move him and won’t be so adamant that teams walk away from the table. He’ll let the interested teams know what he wants for Quentin and once the demands are met, he’ll pull the trigger.