Examining The Carlos Quentin Extension

We won’t know the results of Carlos Quentin’s extension with the Padres until after the 2015 season, when the contract expires. But the deal's consequences are already apparent for the 29 other MLB teams: there’s one less bat on the trade market, one less player headed for free agency, and one more clue that teams are hesitant to surrender top prospects for short-term acquisitions.

Carlos Quentin - Padres (PW)

The trade market, light on power bats to begin with, will be affected. There’s now one less option out there for GMs seeking right-handed power, so the few teams that do have a power-hitting trade candidate might now enjoy additional leverage in trade discussions. The Cubs, for example, might have more success peddling Alfonso Soriano to contenders (though they’ll presumably absorb the majority of his contract if they complete a trade). Josh Willingham of the Twins, who’s signed to a reasonable three-year, $21MM contract, could also draw additional interest following the Padres’ deal with Quentin.

The Padres and Quentin agreed to a three-year, $30MM extension that values the right fielder at the level of Michael Cuddyer (three years, $31.5MM) and Edwin Encarnacion (three years, $29MM). Players such as Nick SwisherMelky Cabrera and Cody Ross could benefit this offseason when they hit free agency. Quentin, Encarnacion and Andre Ethier are now unavailable after signing extensions, so the few remaining free agent bats can expect to be pursued aggressively this coming offseason. It sure beats hitting free agency in a market saturated with star-caliber players.

Quentin's extension provides evidence for a widely-held suspicion about the midseason trade market. Teams have seemed hesitant to trade top prospects for players on the brink of free agency now that baseball’s collective bargaining agreement prevents clubs from obtaining draft pick compensation for players acquired midway through the final year of a contract. The recent deal between the Padres and the CAA Sports client appears to be further evidence that teams are unwilling to trade their best prospects for players nearing free agency.

Instead of trading Quentin for a middling prospect or two and, perhaps, some salary relief, general manager Josh Byrnes offered the San Diego native a contract that buys out three free agent years. While some will criticize the decision by a small-market team to commit a significant percentage of payroll to a defensively-limited player with a history of injury issues, there’s no doubt Quentin would have been of interest to contending teams this summer. The Indians, Pirates and Dodgers are among the clubs that could use an offensive upgrade in the outfield. But teams around the league didn’t tempt Padres executives with overwhelming trade offers. Instead, those teams will hold onto their prospects or trade them for players who will remain under team control beyond 2012. It’s possible that Quentin and other players headed for free agency no longer seem valuable enough to justify parting with highly-regarded prospects.

I wonder if the Padres would have made Quentin a qualifying offer following the season had he stayed in San Diego without signing a long-term deal (teams must extend qualifying offers to free agents to be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation). The qualifying offers are expected to fall in the $12.5MM range, and the Padres apparently value Quentin as a $10MM player on a multiyear deal, so $12.5MM for one year doesn’t sound unreasonable given the possibility of draft pick compensation. If nothing else, additional picks provide teams with a larger budget and more flexibility for the draft, which remains the most efficient way for organizations to obtain impact talent. 

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

21 Responses to Examining The Carlos Quentin Extension Leave a Reply

  1. Demaroth 3 years ago

    I’m not sure it is fair to assume that the only reason the Padres gave him an extension is because he lacked trade value. He’s a San Diego native that has already turned into a fan favorite. Byrnes had reportedly received approval to negotiate with Quentin and Street from both Moores and the O’Malley group. They’re looking to provide some continuity on and off the field and stability to the lineup, and keep fans happy. If those reasons weren’t involved, they could have just not signed him to an extension at all and also they wouldn’t have provided a full no-trade clause.

    Is the market weak for both players? Absolutely. But it’s not the only reason they signed him.

  2. marinest21 3 years ago

    Fowler and the O’Malley group needed to demonstrate that they have a willingness to invest in this team, not just to make a buck. Like it or not, this deal signifies they are ready to make that choice. Let’s just hope the attitude sticks and it resonates with the fans.

  3. snapcase8p 3 years ago

    He still would have looked good behind Cabby and Prince in Delmon’s spot for the rest of this year. Congrats on finally being able to extend pieces that your FO thinks will help you guys be consistent contenders in the future Padres!

  4. cjmsd 3 years ago

    The Padres had one of the lowest payrolls in baseball with Carlos this year at $7 million. Giving him almost $10 million a year does not change the fact that they are still one of the lowest payroll teams.

    If Houston Street walks after this year there is another $7 million freed up. Even if they Extend Houston and give him 3 years at $10 million like Carlos they would still be in the $60 million dollar payroll range along with Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

    This doesn’t do anything to signify that new ownership is willing to spend money. Signing some one to a 5 or 6 year deal worth $80 million, that is spending money.

    • Signing someone to a 5 or 6 year deal is also super stupid, so good point! Yay O’Malley group for not being stupid!

    • GasLampGuru 3 years ago

      The Padres just cant win, no matter what they do. This should be a sign to fans that the team is willing to do what it must to keep its key players in San Diego. Word is, they are also working on extensions for Volquez and Street. I have a feeling their asking price for Headley will prove too high, and they will wind up extending him, too. Let’s say, for arguments sake, they extend Quentin, Headley, Volquez and Street – and add Maybin and Leubke to that list. Now the core of their team is locked up for at least 3 years. That is something that should give all Padres fans hope.

      • Thought I saw on Gaslamp blog that Pads are trying to extend Headley too. With all the good young players coming to use as depth that seems best idea. Extend Headley, Volquez and Street for 3 and go for an NL West title. Its in reach.

  5. Brandon Cline 3 years ago

    Because I’m a pessimistic Padres fan of 23 years, I can’t help but see this turn into Brian Giles 2.0. Someone riddled with injuries riding pine and making $10MM. If we had a lot more coin, I wouldn’t be as opposed to this as I am now. CQ already lost six weeks of the season initially. That should have been a red flag to anyone. CQ would have been a fit on the Rays since they BADLY need DH help.

    I see from where other teams are coming. Is the rent price of CQ really worth to contending teams? Most likely not.

    • marinest21 3 years ago

      I think the biggest difference in terms of GIles v. Quentin is age. We got Giles during his age 32-33 season, whereas Quentin is just 30. It may not seem like a big deal, but Quentin his entering his prime whereas we signed Giles knowing full well he would be going into decline.

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

        That and Giles was juicing and Carlos is not. One thing about Giley though man he could walk like no other lol

      • Amish_willy 3 years ago

        Exactly! The three year deal the Padres gave Giles (for the same money Quentin got) covered his age 35-37 compared to Quentin’s age 30-32 seasons.

        • marinest21 3 years ago

          i think you posted something along these lines previously. nice logic, my friend.

      • Havent looked but didnt Giles play nearly every game every season? That is problem I have with Quentin. He is constantly hurt.

    • Giles was a productive player for the padres until the end.

    • Looking at his stats. He came back May 28th. Nearly 2 months after opening day. Has missed 59 games total including tonight.

  6. Wouldn’t an extension increase Quentin’s trade value? If a team can’t get prospects for a rent a player they should get more value for a guy that’s signed. You would think there would be a lot of sign and trades. If you have a guy that’s going to be a FA and has trade value, sign him for to a lowball option with a monster automatic payday if he’s traded. The player gets traded to a playoff team, gets paid well for the next year and is a FA the following year when the team that traded for the player then could get compensation.

    • GasLampGuru 3 years ago

      The contract includes a full no trade clause, according to reports.

  7. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    I’m digging the extension, no matter what the reasons are behind it. Now lets go find a new CF and RF using Street – Denorfia -Headley to make it happen. I’m not sold on Maybin quite yet, him as a 4th guy that has to earn his position back might be good form him.

  8. Quentin missed his first game after signing the extension with…wait for it… a leg injury. LMAO

  9. How do you build around a guy that is hurt so much? Read on another thread that he hasnt played more than 103 games since 2008. Missed two months of this year and out again tonight so dont think he’ll play even that much this year. If you are going to build around a guy, shouldnt it be a guy who plays every day?

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