Quinn has spent the vast majority of his career with the Phillies so far, as they drafted him back in 2011. Although he was considered a very noteworthy prospect, even taking the final spot on Baseball America’s Top 100 list in 2013, he’s been slowed by injuries at the big league level. Despite appearing in six MLB seasons to this point, he’s gotten into just 201 total games in that time, never getting into more than 50 in any individual season. He’s never been able to get into much of a groove at the plate in his stop-and-start career, with an MLB batting line of .223/.300/.343, wRC+ of 74. Despite that tepid production at the plate, he’s still provided value with his speed, as Statcast estimates his glovework to have been worth 7 Outs Above Average in his career. Quinn also has 43 stolen bases in his limited MLB action so far.
The Phillies designated him for assignment at the end of last year, with Quinn eventually electing free agency. He signed a minors deal with the Marlins but returned to the open market after not making the club’s Opening Day roster. A few days later, he went back to the Phillies’ organization on a minor league deal, getting selected back to the big league team in late April. He’s stayed healthy so far this year but still hasn’t found much success at the plate. His batting line in 40 plate appearances this year is currently .162/.225/.189, wRC+ of just 20. He’s also struck out in 37.5% of his plate appearances. He was designated for assignment last week, clearing waivers and electing to return to free agency.
Quinn won’t have a clear path back to the big leagues with the Royals immediately, though it’s possible that could change in the coming months. The Royals are currently 18-37, which is the worst record in all of baseball. Although there’s still over six weeks until the trade deadline, they will need an incredible turnaround in that time to avoid the fate of being deadline sellers. The club’s primary outfield consists of Whit Merrifield, Michael A. Taylor and Andrew Benintendi, none of whom have extensive windows of club control. Merrifield is controlled through 2023 with a mutual option for 2024, though he’s unlikely to be moved. He’s been the subject of trade rumors for years but the organization has continued to hold onto him. Given that he’s having the worst season of his career, it’s doubtful the club would suddenly change course and sell while his value is at a low ebb. Benintendi, however, is headed towards free agency at season’s end, while Taylor is controlled through 2023. If the Royals end up pulling the trigger on a trade, they’ll have Quinn on hand as an option to spend some time on the grass in the post-deadline portion of the season.