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Carlos Quentin Rumors
The Tigers are interested in trading for Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Quentin's $7MM salary could be an impediment for the Tigers, Morosi adds.
Quentin figures to be one of the best available hitters this summer. Since returning from arthroscopic knee surgery, the 29-year-old has a .421/.542/.921 batting line with five home runs in 48 plate appearances. However, the Padres could wait to make major trades until they settle their ownership situation.
There's room for improvement on Detroit's offense. Tigers right fielders rank second-last in MLB in OPS (.637) and the team's designated hitters rank last in the American League in OPS (.604). The Tigers could use Quentin as a designated hitter at the expense of Delmon Young or mix him in at the corner outfield positions along with Brennan Boesch and, once he's healthy, Andy Dirks.
The Padres could theoretically obtain compensatory draft picks for Quentin by retaining him and making him a qualifying offer after the season, when his contract expires (it still seems unlikely that they would make such an offer). If Quentin is traded, his new team wouldn't be able to obtain compensation picks under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up. Let's recap…
- Teams looking for rotation help should call the Diamondbacks about Joe Saunders. Arizona wants to get top prospect Trevor Bauer into their rotation, but right now there's just no room.
- The identity of the Padres' new owner will not be known before August, leaving the front office to make its own call on Carlos Quentin prior to the trade deadline. They could keep him and make him a qualifying offer after the season (entitling them to draft pick compensation), though they'd be gambling on future payroll before knowing the new owner's plans. The safest move could be trading the outfielder.
- The Cardinals will wait to hear more about Chris Carpenter's status before making a move for a veteran starting pitcher in the wake of Jaime Garcia's shoulder injury. St. Louis wanted Jeff Francis badly, but the timing wasn't right; Garcia appeared to be healthy when Francis hit the market.
- The Pirates have inquired about a number of corner infield bats, including Kevin Youkilis, Chase Headley, and Bryan LaHair. Some of those targets are more realistic than others, plus the trade market has yet to really materialize. There are far more buyers than sellers, though Pittsburgh has the pitching depth to swing a deal.
The free agent market will feature an unusually strong class of outfielders this coming offseason, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. Josh Hamilton leads a group that includes Michael Bourn, Andre Ethier, Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino, B.J. Upton and Carlos Quentin. However, teams are looking to avoid unnecessary long-term commitments, so it may not be possible for all of these players to cash in. Here are more notes from Olney:
- Cole Hamels’ contract talks with the Phillies remain dormant, Olney reports. Hamels is on track for free agency after the season, when he’ll be the top starting pitcher available.
- One general manager suggested the Orioles could become aggressive bidders for Hamilton, who will likely command an annual salary of $20MM-plus. "But [at that price] I don't think he's got a lot of places to go," the GM told Olney.
- Some MLB officials guesstimate Quentin could be in line for a deal in the four-year, $48MM range if he stays healthy and keeps hitting. Four years and $60MM isn’t out of the question, according to those officials.
- Personally I see Quentin signing for two or three years at an average annual value of $6-9MM. He'll turn 30 before the offseason, his defense isn't particularly well-regarded and injury questions persist, so I believe he'd do well to match Josh Willingham's three-year, $21MM deal.
The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- The Padres haven't given up the idea of signing to Carlos Quentin to an extension even though he figures to be the star hitter of the trade market, Heyman writes. However, the club's unsettled ownership situation could hurt the team's chances to retain him if it remains in limbo. Heyman suggests that Michael Cuddyer, who got $31.5MM for three years from the Rockies, and Josh Willingham, who got $21MM for three years from the Twins could be solid comps. Recently, Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at the veteran's stock on the trade market.
- The Rangers expect Josh Hamilton to file for free agency at the end of the year but still may try to sign him before the season is through, according to Heyman. The Rangers are believed to be willing to offer him a big annual salary but do not want to give a long-term deal along the lines of the Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Joey Votto. The Rangers have assigned a life coach to chaperone and monitor Hamilton, but people who have spoken to them say it has proven to be a very demanding job.
General managers don’t expect many frontline hitters to be available in trades this summer, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports. Here are more of Olney’s notes:
- Carlos Quentin of the Padres could be the most sought-after hitter on the trade market, but teams may have concern over the outfielder’s injury history. Olney speculates that teams such as the Reds, Rays, Indians, Dodgers, Braves, Blue Jays, Pirates and Marlins could have interest in Quentin depending on how the next two months unfold. In case you missed it, I set out to determine Quentin’s trade value last week.
- It was somewhat surprising to see potential first overall selection Mark Appel stay on the board until the Pirates made him the eighth pick of the draft, but executives from many teams had Appel projected as the fourth or fifth-best pitcher available, Olney reports. The presence of agent Scott Boras wasn’t scaring teams off, the clubs simply preferred other players.
- Most of Olney’s sources believe the Pirates did well to select Appel eighth overall, yet there’s an expectation that the team won’t be prepared to spend wildly and forfeit future draft picks to complete a deal.
If Carlos Quentin keeps hitting and the 17-35 Padres continue struggling, contending teams figure to call about the left fielder this summer. In a trade market that seemingly features little power, Quentin’s right-handed bat will have considerable value.
The 29-year-old recently returned to the Padres’ lineup after missing nearly two months to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery. So far, the results have been remarkable. He has seven hits, including three home runs, in 12 trips to the plate. It’s a small sample, of course, but in more than 2400 career plate appearances the two-time All-Star has a .254/.347/.496 batting line. In other words, Quentin offers an attractive combination of on-base skills and power as a hitter. On defense, he’s sure-handed and has decent range with a below-average throwing arm, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III.
Quentin will earn $7.03MM this season before hitting free agency. Similar players — think Josh Willingham, Jason Kubel and Luke Scott — are worth $6-8MM on the free agent market, which means a qualifying offer in the $12-3MM range seems highly unlikely. The Padres won’t be getting draft picks for Quentin, so a trade appears to be the only way for the team to obtain a long-term asset for the left fielder.
When GM Josh Byrnes acquired Quentin last December, he sent minor league left-hander Pedro Hernandez and right-hander Simon Castro, a former top-100 prospect, to the White Sox. The Padres may be able to acquire better prospects if Quentin’s knee holds up and his bat returns to form. As I mentioned before, there doesn’t seem to be much power on the trade market (Alfonso Soriano could probably be had, but he earns $18MM in 2013 and 2014, which makes things messy). And it could take a while for bats to become available because more teams than ever are within striking distance of a playoff berth.
Once Quentin plays enough to show he is healthy, Byrnes could make him available and wait for other teams to start making offers. The Indians, Orioles and Dodgers are among the teams that might have interest in adding a right-handed hitting outfielder with power in the next eight weeks. If Quentin is healthy the Padres may come out ahead this summer and trade him for better prospects than the ones they surrendered to acquire him.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire. I discussed Quentin and the Padres yesterday on XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego.
The Cubs are trying to break an 11-game losing streak, their longest in 15 years, as they take on the Pirates this afternoon at PNC Park. Manager Dale Sveum has changed closers, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Sveum didn't reveal who would replace Rafael Dolis if a save opportunity presents itself, but Sullivan writes he did mention James Russell and Casey Coleman.
Here are some more links on this Sunday before Memorial Day.
- MLB.com's Mark Bowman tweets the Braves may be looking for starting pitching because of the struggles of Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens. Bowman cautions money will be an issue.
- Manager Bud Black told reporters including Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that Carlos Quentin could make his Padres debut this week when the team travels to Chicago. Quentin has yet to play this season because of knee surgery performed in March.
- Chase Utley also hasn't seen action in 2012 because of a knee injury. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes Utley is feeling better but there is still no timetable for his minor league rehab. Salisbury points out Utley has been working in left field to ease the strain on his knees and to work on his agility.
- Kevin Mulvey has retired, reports ESPN New York's Adam Rubin. Mulvey had been pitching in relief with the Mets' Double-A affiliate. Mulvey was part of the Johan Santana trade and rejoined the Mets late in spring training after being released by the Diamondbacks.
Roy Halladay is pitching differently this year, according to pitch f/x data and team officials who spoke to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Though Halladay remains effective, he’s relying on different weapons than the ones he used in the past. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors:
- The Royals have lost ten consecutive games, but GM Dayton Moore says it’s not always bad to scuffle. “I’m not shocked that we’re struggling out of the gate,” Moore told Rosenthal. “Although you expect good things to happen, we’re very young.” Rosenthal cites a scout who was “decidedly unimpressed” by the Royals’ play this weekend.
- Rosenthal suggests the Padres might be inclined to trade Carlos Quentin if he hits well once he returns from knee surgery in May. Rosenthal wonders if the Padres might look to sign Quentin to a two-year deal in the $18-20MM range if he has a decent season.
- Many teams are intimidated by Wandy Rodriguez’s contract, Rosenthal reports. The left-hander earns $10MM in 2012 and $13MM in 2013. The Astros hold a $13MM club option for 2014, but it becomes a player option if they trade him.
- Some executives were surprised the Reds committed $72.5MM to Brandon Phillips when some of their best prospects (Billy Hamilton and Didi Gregorius) are middle infielders.
- Adam Dunn looks more comfortable at the plate this year, one scout says.
A few items to pass along out of MLB's west divisions …
- The stalled sale of the Padres leaves the team's ownership situation a mess, writes Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, who adds that the prolonged uncertainty hampers the odds of signing outfielder Carlos Quentin to a long-term extension, which was the objective when he was acquired from the White Sox.
- Mariners outfielder Trayvon Robinson told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he was confused and disappointed by last season's three-way trade that sent him from his hometown Dodgers to the Mariners via the Red Sox. Robinson said he was first told he was going to Boston while he was reading on Twitter that he was in fact going to Seattle.
- The Dodgers hosted Steve Cohen at their Spring Training complex on Saturday, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Cohen is considered by some to be the favorite to win the bidding for the franchise, according to Gurnick. Outgoing owner Frank McCourt was also in attendance.
- Yoenis Cespedes still remains something of a mystery to even the Athletics, the team that invested $36MM in the Cuban outfielder, explains Richard Justice of MLB.com. "We know less about this guy than anybody in camp," A's manager Bob Melvin said Saturday. "It's a huge question." Cespedes went 2-for-2 with a homer and two RBIs in his Spring Training debut on Saturday.
Here's the latest out of San Diego…
- Cameron Maybin has switched agents and is now once again represented by Brian Goldberg, reports MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link). Maybin was previously represented by Robert Baratta. Goldberg was Maybin's original agent when he first entered the Major Leagues.
- Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune thinks the Padres will revisit extension talks with Maybin during Spring Training. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith examined Maybin as an extension candidate last month. Center also thinks the Padres will wait to see how Carlos Quentin performs before exploring a multiyear deal with him.
- Also as part of Center's weekly chat with fans, he discusses Micah Owings' role with the team and why owner Jeffrey Moorad "forbids" incentive-laden contracts.
- Owings' contract with the Padres is a split deal that will pay the right-hander a minor league salary if he's optioned down, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times. The contract doesn't include an opt-out clause if Owings is not on the Major League roster by a certain date.