Carlos Quentin Rumors

Padres Notes: Quentin, Byrnes, Maybin, Roster

The brawl between the Padres and Dodgers last night left Zack Greinke sidelined for several weeks with a broken collarbone and put Carlos Quentin squarely in the media spotlight for charging the mound.  CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi both feel Major League Baseball should hand Quentin a significant penalty — Heyman suggests a 15-game suspension while Morosi opines that Quentin should be out for at least a month for seeking "vigilante justice" against Greinke.  It may be a while before Quentin misses any action given that the outfielder is likely to appeal any suspension leveled against him by the league.

As the Padres kick off a series against the Rockies at Petco Park tonight, here are some more items out of sunny San Diego… 

  • Padres GM Josh Byrnes seems to have won the favor of the club's new ownership group, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.  New owners are often apt to bring in their own general managers though in the Padres' case, firing Byrnes would be costly given that he is under contract through the 2017 season.
  • In his weekly chat with fans, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes that Byrnes will likely "blow up the roster" (in the words of one fan) should the Padres fail to match last year's 76-86 record.
  • Also from Center, Cameron Maybin has "no trade value" given his struggles at the plate and the roughly $22.8MM owed to him through the 2016 season.  Maybin signed the five-year, $25MM extension prior to the 2012 campaign but hit just .243/.306/.349 last season and has just two hits in 27 AB to begin this season.
  • From earlier today on MLBTR, the Padres signed first baseman Brandon Allen to a minor league contract.

MLBTR's Steve Adams also contributed to this post


The Implications Of Zack Greinke’s Injury

When the Dodgers spent $147MM on Zack Greinke this offseason, they were expecting 33 starts per season of an ace-caliber pitcher. Instead, Greinke will now find himself on the shelf for a significant portion of time following a brawl in the Dodgers-Padres game that broke out after he hit Carlos Quentin in the shoulder with a pitch.

Two things are clear here. The move has serious financial and roster implications for the Dodgers, and Quentin is a lock to be suspended. What does that mean, specifically, for the involved parties? It depends on how long Greinke is out for, first of all, which has yet to be announced. ESPN's Jayson Stark notes that recent history shows this type of injury has a recovery time of anywhere from one to three months (All Twitter links). Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis broke his collarbone in late February and is hoping to return in early May. Clint Barmes broke his collarbone in 2005 and was on the shelf for three months. The only pitcher Stark could find who suffered the injury was Chris Bosio, who missed a month.

Greinke is earning $17MM in the 2013 season, which is 182 calendar days long. Assuming a timetable of 30 to 90 days (roughly one to three months), the Dodgers figure to be out somewhere between $2.8MM and $8.4MM of this year's investment in Greinke. That's a sizeable chunk of salary, although they could have an insurance policy on the contract that will cover a portion of the injury.

This also means that the Dodgers' former surplus of starting pitching has likely been sorted out for the time being. With Aaron Harang now in Seattle, the Dodgers can place one of Ted Lilly or Chris Capuano in the rotation, with the other serving as a long reliever. It seems likely that it will be Lilly who is placed in the rotation; MLB.com's Ken Gurnick recently noted that he's been building up arm strength to throw 90+ pitches again and the Dodgers are concerned about how frequent warm-ups would affect his "delicate shoulder." Capuano, meanwhile, has already been in the 'pen for the early portion of the season. Both hurlers figure to be firmly off the trade market now.

As far as Quentin goes, the left fielder signed a three-year, $27MM extension with the Padres last year and is slated to make $9.5MM this season. In other words, Quentin is paid just over $52,000 per day during the season. So multiply that number by the amount of days in his eventual unpaid suspension, and it becomes a costly confrontation for him on a personal level as well.

Matt Kemp and Jerry Hairston Jr. also played roles in the altercation. Kemp was particularly vocal during the fray and eventually pursued Quentin after the game, leading to a confrontation that is chronicled here by Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Hairston charged toward the Padres' dugout after the field had been cleared, later explaining to reporters that an undisclosed Padres player was mocking Greinke's injury. It's unclear at this time if there will be any punishment handed out for Kemp and Hairston, but presumably they're in line for fines as opposed to suspensions.


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.



West Notes: Rangers, Padres, Giants

The Rangers head into their Sunday night matchup against the Angels with an ailing starting rotation. The Rangers have scratched Roy Oswalt from his start tomorrow and Colby Lewis is scheduled to have his forearm examined tomorrow before he's given the green light to make his scheduled start on Tuesday. The Rangers don't believe Oswalt's injury is serious, but he and Lewis can both wind up on the disabled list, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Elsewhere from the AL and NL West:


Padres Sign Carlos Quentin

The Padres have announced the signing of Carlos Quentin to a contract extension through the 2015 season with a mutual option for 2016. 

We are very pleased to extend Carlos’ contract,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Josh Byrnes in a statement announcing the extension. “He provides a real threat in the middle of our lineup and brings an intensity and edge to our club. As a San Diegan, he is very invested in the success of the Padres.

The Padres did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Corey Brock of MLB.com tweets Quentin will receive $9.5MM in 2013 and 2014, $8MM in 2015, and, if the 2016 option is picked up, $10MM. In a separate tweet, Brock reports Quentin is guaranteed a $3MM buyout of the option, if he plays over 320 games the next three years. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.com writes the deal includes a full no-trade clause, a pivotal stipulation for Quentin. 

Quentin's name has popped up quite a bit in trade rumors with the outfielder drawing interest from several clubs including the Pirates, Giants, Indians, and Reds. The outfielder has looked strong this season since returning from knee surgery, hitting .273/.389/.525 with nine homers in 40 games.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who first reported the agreement, notes that the club viewed Michael Cuddyer, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Willingham – who all received three-year deals – as fair comps for the 29-year-old. Of the three, Quentin's deal is most similar to Cuddyer's, whose contract is worth $31.5MM over that span. 

In years past, the Padres' financial situation has hampered them from keeping some of their biggest stars, but San Diego was able to retain the outfielder thanks in large part to their new ownership. Both the current group and the incoming group signed off on the deal to keep Quentin in San Diego.

The Padres might not stop with a new deal for Quentin and are looking to lock up right-hander Huston Street next, according to Rosenthal. The club may just look to guarantee his $9MM mutual option for 2013 but the 28-year-old would likely prefer a multi-year pact.


Padres Planning Extension Offers For Quentin, Street

The Padres are planning to offer multiyear contract extensions to Carlos Quentin and Huston Street and will likely make such proposals before the trade deadline, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Sources say that current owner John Moores and incoming owner Ron Fowler have both "given the go-ahead" to GM Josh Byrnes to try and keep the two players, who have both been frequently mentioned as trade candidates.

The sale of the team is "close" to being approved by Major League Baseball, which is perhaps why the Padres are comfortable in committing millions to the duo.  Quentin can be a free agent this winter, while Street is in the last guaranteed season of a three-year, $22.5MM extension he signed with the Rockies before the 2010 season.  Street's deal carries a $9MM mutual option for 2013 that will pay him a $500K buyout if the Padres decline.

It would be somewhat of a surprise if the Padres lock up either man since, as Heyman notes, the Padres have traditionally had problems in keeping their stars on long-term contracts and it's "a major step" that the club seems willing to commit to Quentin and Street.  Both players have expressed an interest in remaining with the team and Quentin is a San Diego native, though it's a risky move for a small-market team to spend big on a closer (especially given the Padres' deep bullpen) and an outfielder with Quentin's injury history.  The team could, of course, still explore trades if they are unable to come to agreements with Quentin or Street before July 31.  


West Links: Angels, Schierholtz, Rangers, Quentin

Here is the latest from baseball's two West divisions…

  • "We have nothing significant or imminent at this time. We're just doing our due diligence," said Angels GM Jerry Dipoto to reporters (including Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times) today (Twitter link). Check out today's Angels rumors right here.
  • Although he has not officially requested a trade, Nate Schierholtz indicated to Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle that he is ready to move on to a team with that can offer a greater opportunity. "There's not one thing I can't say I love about this place, but I think I've come to the realization that maybe I'm not their guy. I'm not in the cards having a future here," said the Giants outfielder.
  • The Rangers are focused on Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com hears that the team's long-shot backup plan involves trading for Cliff Lee again. Lee's contract is an obstacle, plus the Phillies indicated that they're not looking to move their veteran lefty ace.
  • Scott Miller of CBSSports.com hears that the Padres may keep Carlos Quentin and try to re-sign him after the season. The Reds, Indians, Pirates, and Marlins have all inquired about his availability.

Bowden On Padres, Tigers, Indians, Royals, Pirates

Here's the latest from around the league, courtesy of ESPN's Jim Bowden

  • The Padres have fielded offers for both Huston Street and Carlos Quentin, but they've yet to seriously debate any of them internally.
  • The Tigers are seeking a second base upgrade and would like to acquire Darwin Barney from the Cubs for a mid-level prospect.
  • The Indians are looking all over to acquire an outfield bat, but they are unable to take back a significant contract and are unwilling to move their best prospects.
  • Meanwhile, the Royals are trying to convince the Indians or Reds to take Jeff Francoeur so they can promote Wil Myers from Triple-A.
  • The Pirates are aggressively trying to land a middle of the order bat while the Orioles are seeking starting pitching and a third base upgrade.
  • There have been rumors of a Mike Morse for B.J. Upton trade, according to Bowden. The Nationals are also looking to add a starter with Stephen Strasburg's innings limit approaching.
  • The Giants have no plans of making a deal similar to the one they made last year, when they traded Zack Wheeler for a rental (Carlos Beltran). They are looking for a bat or two, however.

NL West Notes: Headley, Quentin, Cuddyer

The Giants lead the NL West with a 49-40 record, but it doesn't sound as though they'll be particularly aggressive in trade talks this year (it won't be surprising if they trade for bullpen help). Still, there’s plenty of activity throughout the rest of the division with two weeks remaining in July. Here’s the latest…

  • Six teams are discussing Chase Headley with the Padres, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers, Pirates, Indians, Orioles and Diamondbacks are all believed to have some interest in Headley, who’s under team control through 2014.
  • Though there’s lots of interest in Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, nothing seems close yet, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). 
  • Michael Cuddyer has drawn trade interest from other teams, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. But the Rockies like Cuddyer and would have to eat a chunk of money to get the kind of players they'd want in return. A trade doesn't seem likely this summer.
  • Here are the latest Justin Upton rumors.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Marlins, ChiSox, Headley, Orioles

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a bunch of new rumors for us today in a pair of videos. Let's round 'em up…

  • Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria may soon be faced with the question about selling at the deadline, something he wanted to avoid in the first year of the club's new ballpark. The best thing they could do to improve their farm system likely involves trading guys like Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and the newly acquired Carlos Lee.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams always thinks big and it would not be surprising to see him get in on pitcher such as Zack Greinke. The problem is that his farm system doesn't have much to offer and they don't want to give up pieces off the big league roster while contending.
  • The best guess right now has the Padres keeping Carlos Quentin and trading Chase Headley. Rosenthal says it's simple supply-and-demand; as many as ten teams have shown interest in the third baseman Headley. The team isn't sure they can get more for Quentin in a trade than they would by letting him walk as a free agent and recouping draft picks after the season.
  • The Orioles are clearly buyers. They're willing to trade any prospect not named Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, but they probably don't have enough to get Greinke. They do have interest in lesser arms like Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas, as well as leadoff man Juan Pierre.
  • The Brewers could pit the Rangers and Angels against each other in the Greinke sweepstakes. Texas is unwilling to trade Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar, or Martin Perez for a rental, which could create an opening for the Halos if they're willing to deal Major League talent.
  • The Phillies do not intend to trade Cliff Lee to create payroll room for Cole Hamels. If they do keep Hamels long-term, they could have $140MM tied up in just eight players going into next season.